Gardening: For the green thumb on your gift list

Looking for something for the gardener in your life? Head to the local book store. There are numerous shelves of books on gardening from how to improve the soil to how to grow under lights. When choosing a book, remember that the growing zones in Central Alberta range from zone 2 to 3 with a few warmer micro-climates thrown in. A book that discusses growing warmer season plants might not be applicable.

A good pair or two of garden gloves, might be a welcome present as old ones tend to wear out. Different pairs of gloves are used for different activities. Heavier for gloves work well for using a spade but are not practical for finer work such as seeding.

Gardener’s hands are often dry from contact with the earth, plant and moisture. A good hand cream helps keep hands looking presentable.

For those that spend hours weeding, there are two tools that are a must. One is a loop weeder which allows one to cut off the top of weeds just below the soil surface. Its short handle makes it easy to weed in small areas. The other is a short handled digger or a dandelion digger, which works for removing long rooted weeds without disturbing other plants in a vicinity.

Gift certificates to local garden centers can provide hours of fun planning and deciding on what to purchase.

When purchasing gardening tools, choose ones that are light, strong and designed ergonomically. Well-designed garden tools are a joy to use allowing people to accomplish a job quicker and with less effort. The type of tool purchased depends on where it will be used. Rakes, hoes and shovels all come in a variety of designs. Owning every design would clutter up the garage or garden shed, but having a few different models allow for choice and make jobs easier.

A solid, sharp hand trowel is always useful. Strong ones will not bend regardless of what is being dug. A sharp edge makes it easier to pierce the soul or to cut a root. The width of the blade varies with the style of trowel and the size of hole that needs to be dug.

Watering cans come in all shapes and sizes. HAWS watering can, patented in 1885, is still considered one of the best designed watering cans on the market. It is available in the traditional metal or a lighter and less expensive version, hard plastic. Sizes of watering cans range from 1 liter up to 9 liters. Before purchasing the largest one, take into consideration of the weight of the can when full of water; 20 lbs, (9 kilograms).

Gardeners that love to plant early in the season could benefit from polyspun cloth, also called a floating row cover. This light weight cloth allows the sun to penetrate and keeps the plants and soil about 5 degrees warmer than the area not covered. An added benefit is that it acts as a barrier to keep insects, like the Cabbage butterfly from laying eggs on plants.

Peony rings have been used to hold the flowers upright for over a century but they are not the only flower support available. Choose plant supports that will be strong enough to keep, a single stem or complete plant upright. Plant stakes are usually designed to blend into the landscape while trellises tend to support plants and add to the overall landscape design.

Lastly, gardens are for relaxing. Give a comfortable chair or bench that fits the garden’s theme. It will encourage people to sit and enjoy.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist that lives near Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at your_garden@hotmail.com

Just Posted

Lacombe council seeking answers about policing cost overruns

Council surprised to find out about $240,000 policing budget shortfall

Red Deer fundraiser to help educate Somali orphans on May 11

The Mother’s Day event is for all ages

Lacombe to join municipal coalition spreading the word about importance of resource industry

Resources Communities of Canada Coalition to represent municipalities connected to resource industry

These blues will get you dancing: The Overdue Blues Band performs in Red Deer Saturday

Calgary’s Brother Ray Lemelin Band is also on Elks Lodge bill

Gardening: Time and effort key to buying garden plants

Greenhouses, garden centers and box stores are set to start selling bedding… Continue reading

Montreal native Nicholas Latifi off to solid start on Formula 2 race circuit

Practice makes perfect for Canadian Nicholas Latifi. The 23-year-old Montreal auto racer… Continue reading

Bruins victory over Leafs ensures an American team will hoist the Stanley Cup

TORONTO — Many NHL players were either not yet born or too… Continue reading

Swole, buzzy, among new words in Merriam-Webster dictionary

BOSTON — Get swole, prepare a bug-out bag, grab a go-cup and… Continue reading

Garner graces cover of People’s annual ‘Beautiful Issue’

NEW YORK — Jennifer Garner graces the front of this year’s “Beautiful… Continue reading

Updated: Joshua Arthur Sanford has been found, says RCMP

37-year-old Ponoka man last seen on Tuesday morning

Inspired by a galaxy far, far away, these ‘Star Wars’ mementos could be yours forever

CHICAGO —The stuff of “Star Wars” —and there is unfortunately no better… Continue reading

Shoppers Drug Mart launches second online medical pot portal in Alberta

TORONTO — Medical cannabis users in Alberta can now get their therapeutic… Continue reading

Most Read