Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Trowel Talk Newsletter July 15, 2020

Lanark County Master Gardeners

Trowel Talk Newsletter July 2020 is now available.  This month our feature article describes one gardener's transformation from lawn to a beautiful 'meadowscape' garden that quickly became home to many pollinators. Another author describes favourite beets and how you can grow them in your garden.  If you cannot grow herbs in your garden or do not have a garden, consider easy to grow and low maintenance herbs in a container.
Japanese Beetles are the bane of many gardeners existence. We provide tips for slowing them down and even getting rid of them.
This month, our Ask a Master Gardener answers questions about growing a tomato plant in a pot and What do I do with me Bleeding Heart after blooming?
If you would like to subscribe to our Trowel Talk Newsletter and receive in in your inbox, send an email to

Monday, June 15, 2020

Trowel Talk Newsletter June 15, 2020

Lanark County Master Gardeners

The June 15, 2020 edition of the Trowel Talk Newsletter is now available. This month, we feature articles on:

  • Calendula, an annual flowering herb sometimes called 'Pot Marigold' or Poor Man's Saffron

  •  Ask a Master Gardener--answers to questions about Hostas and Iris

  • Garden Safely--tips on how to garden without injury

  • Planting to preserve and beautify your shoreline, important buffers between land and water 

  • Garden Mint--Frightened by mints invasive reputation?  It can be controlled so you can enjoy.

  • Onions Galore!--Onions can also be ornamental too.

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    Share with a friend.

    Friday, May 15, 2020

    Trowel Talk Newsletter May, 2020

    Lanark County Master Gardeners
    The Trowel Talk Newsletter May 15, 2020, is now available, brought to you by the Master Gardeners of Lanark County and Ottawa Carleton.

    This month, given the downturn in the global economy, due to Covid-19 pandemic we suggest methods to Grow Food to share.  One popular early vegetable is the radish.  The author provides tips for growing radishes and suggests some varieties that you may not have tried.
    In the ornamental side, we answer the question "Who put the Zinn in the Zinnias?".  Our Native Plant this month is Vernonia: Bold and Beautiful Ironweed.
    This month's Ask a Master Gardener answers a question about the Annabelle Hydrangeas.  If you would like to see your question answered in this newsletter or simply have a question, click on the Helpline button on the last page.

    Garden Centres are opening and our Garden season can get underway.  Plant Sales, Gardening events and Clinics have been cancelled but will hopefully return later this summer.

    Please share this newsletter with your gardening friends.  If you received this newsletter from a friend, contact us on the Helpline.

    Wednesday, April 15, 2020

    Trowel Talk Newsletter April 2020

    Lanark County Master Gardeners
    Trowel Talk Newsletter April 2020 is now available.  This is the first issue of our new newsletter, brought to you by the Master Gardeners of Ottawa Carleton and Lanark County.  We have combined the Edible Garden Newsletter and Trowel Talk, hopefully taking the best of both into one newsletter.  This month, we feature an article on Planting Tomatoes to Prevent Problems and help you create an interest in gardening with your children by planting a Pizza Garden.  Our Native Plant profile features False Blue Indigo, Baptisia australis, an early blooming perennial that is as attractive to Pollinators as it is to the eye.  We have also added a new feature, Ask a Master Gardener.  We welcome your feedback and suggestions for articles and have provided a handy feedback button  on page 6. 
    As you are all no doubt aware, the current COVID19 emergency has forced the cancellation of all clinics, talks and events for the foreseeable future.  We are still available to answer your gardening questions and links to Helplines for both Lanark and Ottawa Carleton are provided in the Newsletter.
    Hope you enjoy it.

    Saturday, March 28, 2020

    Vegetable Art--More Fun for Kids

    Lanark County Master Gardeners
    Here is an idea that you can enjoy with your family, by raiding the refrigerator drawer and finding a carrot, a piece of cauliflower or broccoli and a piece of celery. You can also experiment with other things but these are what I used.
    You need to get out your acrylic paints, a plastic tray, jar of water some paint brushes, and some paper towel.
    Cut the carrot to make your circle shape, cut the celery to make the curved shape, and take a small piece of broccoli or cauliflower from the large piece.  Leave enough vegetable so you can hold on to it.
    Use some old paper to experiment putting paint on the pieces and pressing them down on the paper to see the shape they make.
    Now you can make cards for your friends and family, using construction paper or heavy paper. You may also like to try using a potato, and cutting out is shaped like a square or a triangle.
    Have fun!  Article and pictures by Lanark County Master Gardener, Ankaret Dean

    Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    Gardening Activity for Kids

    Lanark County Master Gardeners
    Here is an activity you can try while kids are home waiting for Covid19 to subside.  Try growing some easy vegetables/fruits from scraps. This activity and may spark your child’s interest in gardening.
    Some of the easier vegetables you try from scraps are: Romaine lettuce, celery, green onions.
    Romaine lettuce, onions, celery. Take the stump cut about 2-5 cm from the end of the vegetable. Fill a container halfway with water, set the stump side down in water. Place in a sunny window and watch for new growth, within a few days. Change the water every couple of days. For those of you on town water, keep some water on hand that has sat for at least a day to reduce the chemicals that would have been added to water. After about 3 weeks you will see new roots start to appear on my lettuce. At this point when roots are a few inch long you can place it in soil water and continue to watch it grow. Or cut off the small amount of lettuce which did regrow and enjoy.
    Hopefully during this time your kids would have been excited with watching the regrowth occur.
    Have fun and stay safe!  Photo and article by Lanark County Master Gardener Judy Wall

    Sunday, March 1, 2020

    Edible Garden Newsletter March 2020

    Lanark County Master Gardeners
    The Edible Garden Newsletter for March 2020 is now available. This month, our feature article is all about Winterizing Herbs from the garden.  Sage, as shown in the picture, does not need to come indoors as it happily produces all winter long. We also focus on Rosemary.  One gardener tells how she and some friends preserve a tradition by canning Grandma's Chili Sauce.  Finally, a gardener talks about the pleasure of growing blueberry bushes.
    I am sad to report that this is the last issue of The Edible Garden Newsletter.  We are combining this newsletter with another existing newsletter, Trowel Talk.  We will be taking the best from the two newsletters and creating one, retaining the Trowel Talk name.  It will be available of the 15th of each month.  If you subscribe to The Edible Garden you do not need to do anything to keep your newsletters flowing.  Thanks to all for your support over the past 6 plus years.

    Saturday, February 1, 2020

    Edible Garden Newsletter February 2020

    Lanark County Master Gardeners
    The Edible Garden Newsletter February 2020 is now available.  In this month's issue, we discuss the pros and cons of growing the various varieties of currants.  They are nutritious and delicious but are also the first step on the process that leads to Pine Blister Rust.  February is the time when people's minds turn to starting seeds.  While it is still too early to start your tomato seeds, it is a wonderful time to get prepared for the big day.  Do you like Pesto? Read on for delicious and different approaches to making Pesto that you love, including using Garlic Scapes.  Finally learn all about the benefits of worm castings (poop)!
    However, in our northern forests, Mor soils predominate.  These are soils in which organic matter is practically unmixed with mineral soils below that are more or less matted or compacted.  The forest floor is covered in organic matter, also called detritus, duff and the O horizon.  Within three or four years after introduction, Earthworms can transform Mor soils to mull soils where the organic and mineral layers are mixed.  They can remove the duff layer, disrupting plants whose roots feed in that organic layer.  Plants like spikenard, Solomon's Seal, Bellwort, Nodding Trillium, Large flowered Trillium and Goblin Fern begin to dissipate.  Tree species shift and Invasive shrubs like European Buckthorn and Honeysuckle benefit and thrive and ecosystem disruption ensues.
    What on earth(worm) can I do?
    Some simple ways to help stop the spread of earthworms and protect our soils in Ontario's Forest Ecosystems are:
      • avoid transporting soils, leaves, mulch, and compost to different areas
      • wash the treads of your vehicles and shoes when moving from one area to another
      • throw unused bait in the trash, not on land or water.

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