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Mark Cullen?s Top 10 Tips for Improving Your Garden in 2008

By: Mark Cullen

Posted on: May 26, 08

Increasingly Canadian gardeners from coast to coast want a beautiful and productive garden while also demonstrating environmental responsibility.  Mark Cullen, Canada’s best known green thumb, provides his top ten gardening tips that will help you achieve the garden of your dreams while being sensitive to the surrounding environment.

1. Prepare your soil properly. Ninety percent of your gardening success hinges on proper soil preparation. Know the soil in your garden and learn what it needs to be healthy. Start the gardening season off right with soil the consistency of chocolate cake. Use the appropriate potting soil for your potted plants such as Home Gardener Organic Starter Mix*, garden soil and manure compost like Home Gardener Soil or Sheep Manure Compost for your garden beds.

2. Use multiple quantities of the same plant. Repetition will anchor your garden and make it appear lush, coordinated and full.

3. Enjoy organic fruits and vegetables. A wide variety of environmentally friendly pest control options are on the market for the most common vegetable garden pests. Try diatomatious earth such as Green Earth DIO for potato bug control and Green Earth Bordo Mixture for early blight on tomatoes.

4. Enhance the environment and your garden. Make a point of cutting your lawn with Mark’s Choice Push Reel Mower only when it reaches 2 ½ inches minimum. Water it only once a week using a Mark’s Choice Lawn Sprinkler, which uses 30 per cent less water than regular sprinklers. Fertilize with a slow release nitrogen based product such as CIL Golf Green three times per year. Water potted plants using water collected in a rain barrel such as, the Mark’s Choice Rain Barrel.

5. Be generous with your compost. Add two centimeters of compost to your garden each year. Start your own composter with the help of the Natura Plastic Kitchen Composter and the Mark’s Choice Garden Composter.

6. Travel to the great gardens of the world. When traveling to other cities or countries take notes/pictures and open your eyes to the possibilities of introducing different plants and garden design options in your own yard.

7. Attract wildlife to your yard. Using native plants and feeders, you can attract hummingbirds, song birds and butterflies to your garden, enhancing its natural beauty. Increasing the activity in your garden by using Mark’s Choice Bird Feast Songbird Feed or Hummingbird Feeder. Talk to your local Home Hardware store about the native plant species that is the right fit for your area.

8. Mulch with soft wood bark mulch. Mulch, the low maintenance gardener’s secret weapon, helps your garden retain moisture, prevents soil erosion and reduces weed growth. Try Natura’s Beyond Mulch and you’ll never look back.

9. Plan your garden colours in advance. ‘Colour block’ to give your garden authority. This year’s colour trends suggest bold colours to electrify your garden.

10. Reduce any difficulty. Lessen your work load by sharpening the blades of hoes, axes and shovels with a Mark’s Choice Metal File before use.

The products listed here and more are available at more than 1,000 Home Hardware stores across Canada, making them easy to find, no matter where you live. We’d be happy to provide tools,

User comments

Ripening Sweet Peppers
posted by: Nancy
posted Tue, Sep 23 at 11:24:46 EDT
<p>I have a ton of yellow & red peppers however there is a risk of frost and our weather has been cool so they are not ripening.  Can I pull the plant out and hang them upside down (like tomatoes) and let them ripen on the plant?  Does anyone know if this will work?</p>
honeysuckle vine
posted by: Susie
posted Sat, May 15 at 02:00:57 EDT
<p>I planted honeysuckle vines 3 years ago and they haven't flowered the last 2 years.   I forget what kind they are but they are orange in colour.  Any ideas why they won't flower?</p>
<p>Thank you - Susie</p>
<p> </p>
Natura Beyond Mulch
posted by: Jill
posted Sat, Aug 7 at 12:51:15 EDT
I bought this product last year and loved it.  The fibers were in the form of small chips.  I purchased two bales of this same product this year and it is a mess.  There were some small chips in it but for the most part it is stringy fibers and it does not look good.

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