The great work of Chemainus Communities In Bloom members is readily seen around town with the upkeep of flowers and plants. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Weeding, pruning, deadheading and battling the slugs

‘Tis the season for Chemainus Communities in Bloom

First storm of the fall season is upon us. Smoke clogged our lungs and arteries. COVID-19 numbers are spiking! Slugs and moths are attacking from above and below … so much for September!

What will October bring us? Thanksgiving! A time to reflect and give thanks for the good times, for the town we live in, for the birth of a baby whale, for good neighbours, friends and family. We are so fortunate. Enjoy the upcoming long weekend and Thanksgiving, Oct. 12. It’s a good time to plant a tree.

Communities in Bloom continues to weed and prune and deadhead, and battle the slugs.

Do It Now Tips

• Dig and divide rhubarb

• Leave fallen leaves in flower beds as protection from winter cold

• Divide large clumps of perennials

• Plant new trees and shrubs

• Winterize your pond and stretch net over to catch falling leaves

• Aerate and top dress lawns, apply lime, sow seed until mid-October

• Clear beds of annuals and add compost by the end of the month

• Buy and plant spring-blooming bulbs and plant those winter pansies

• Divide clumps of herbs and pot up young plants of chives, mint, oregano and parsley for indoor use

• Plant garlic, shallots and overwintering onions before Thanksgiving

• After first frost or at the end of the month, dig up dahlias, gladiolas, tuberous begonias and fuchsias and store in frost-free place

• Wet muddy soil must be corrected before winter. Use sand and peat moss.

• Winterize irrigation systems

• Wait until December to prune trees

Did You Know…

… the flower of the month is the Calendulla, or pot marigold, depicting cruelty, grief and jealousy?

… peanuts belong to the bean family?

… gardening is considered an art and a science?

… grapes explode in the microwave?

… radish is from the Indo-European word Wrad meaning twig root?

… potted chrysanthemums from the florist are not bred to be hardy and should be treated as holiday décor?

… the cranberry is a relative to the blueberry and a native plant full of anti-oxidants?

Pick of the Month – Sunflowers! Helianthus annuus

There is nothing like a sunflower to brighten one’s spirit. The flower head is made up of hundreds of tiny flowers called florets. To grow well they need full sun and fertile, well drained, mulched soil. Plant directly in the garden from mid-April to mid-May, ½ inch deep and two feet apart. Sunflowers are traditionally yellow but varieties include shades of copper, red, orange and bi-coloured. They are heliotropism plants as the flowers face east in the morning and track the sun during the day to face west in the evening.

AND … What is another name for Brussels sprouts? Cabbage Patch Kids!

Chemainus Communities in Bloom meets next on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Chemainus Legion Hall. Newcomers always welcome. COVID-19 protocol will be in place.

Visit our blog at www.wedigchemainus.ca and keep in touch through Facebook.

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