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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cold weather won’t limit gardens By Amelia Naismith

that grow best in the area. This includes corn, kale, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and lettuce. Tomatoes can be seeded in early March to get a head start, but if the soil is too wet the early seeds will rot away. Frost is also a concern of early seeding. “If the soil is warmed up everything germinates so much faster. But in the end the results are the same,” said Ruijsch. To beat the extended winter gardeners can begin seeding inside then transfer the plants once the soil is warmer. Tine Roelofsen, owner of Bobtail Nursery says container gardening and herb baskets are a good idea because the seed doesn’t have to be planted directly

Although Ponoka area hasn’t relished the extended winter, greenhouse owners are saying the cold weather isn’t going to make a huge difference in this year’s gardens. “Everything has its own time. They’re not going to not flower, they’re not going to not leaf,” said Country Gardens and Greenhouse owner Carmen Sim. The biggest impact will be the gardens’ late start. “Everything will be pushed back about a week,” said Tony Ruijsch, owner of Arbutus Nursery. “In the end the slow melt will work out better because we’ll have a lot more moisture in the ground now, not just the ditches,” he added. However, too much moisture isn’t always a good thing. Sim says plants such as maple trees have high sugar content and if the sugar doesn’t have time Homeowners who spend time tending to descend and harden to their landscape are increasingly lookbefore winter the moistre ing for eco-friendly ways to maintain their will freeze and crack the lawns and gardens. Homeowners who inner sections of the tree. once relied on potentially harmful pestiThis could cause cides to craft a lush lawn now prefer ways some die back on similar that don’t leave such a significant carbon trees and shrubs. footprint. Ruijsch says the Preventing soil erosion is one way to cold won’t affect what incorporate conservation into lawn and can be planted this year. garden care. Conservation is one of many Any vegetable with a environmental practices aimed at preservshort crop will be alright, ing the planet’s natural resources, which which are also the crops

How to prevent soil erosion

Tony Ruijsch is the owner of Arbutus Nursery and sells a number of plants that can handle central Alberta’s growing conditions. Photos by Amelia Naismith

easy and can be accomplished in a number of ways. • Don’t overwater. Some may assume that keeping soil as damp as possible keeps it healthy. However, overwatering the soil can cause runoff that washes the soil away. In addition, overwatering the soil can degrade it and contribute to erosion. Instead of overwatering, keep the soil moist but don’t overdo it. If you’re having trouble keeping soil moist, consider laying down some mulch, which helps retain moisture and deliver nutrients to the include soil. Preventing soil erosion is soil that keep it healthy. • Plant trees and shrubs. Trees and shrubs are friends to soil, providing shelter while their roots keep the soil in place and prevent it from easily blowing away on a windy day. It also helps soil from washing away when warm weather arrives and the landscape must be watered on a daily basis. • Create runoff barriers. Runoff barriers are edges that can be made of brick, stone or other materials that help reduce runoff. Many homeowners install runoff barriers along sidewalks and driveways to ensure the soil does not spill out onto the pavement, but these also help the soil as much as they help to keep walkways and EU3000is other areas free of soil and The most advanced portable power supply available on the looking tidy. market today, with plenty of smooth, stable electrical power. • Consider leaving some grass around the garden. Tillage is the process • Reliable Honda GX200 6.5hp, OHV, four-stroke engine of preparing land to grow • Dependable 12 volt DC electric start with enclosed low crops. While many homeowners don’t view their maintenance battery weekend gardening as • Convenient circuit breaker construction growing crops, similar principles apply whether • Battery charge cable is optional you’re growing crops on a • One lever on/off ignition and fuel control farm or just a few vegetables in the backyard. One • 13 litre tank gives 7.3 hours continuous operation at such principle is conservarated load/20 hours continuous at 25% load tion tillage, which means leaving a portion of vegetation in the ground instead of stripping everything away before planting. 1/2 mile east of Ponoka on For home gardeners, Hwy. 53, 2 miles south on consider leaving a small Macdonald Rd. & 1/2 mile east amount of grass around OPEN Tues. - Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. the garden to keep the soil within the garden’s Saturday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. boundaries. It’s a principle Closed Sunday & Monday similar to installing runoff Ponoka, AB Sales Desk barriers, and it can be just as effective at preventing 403-783-5185 1-800-662-7135 soil erosion. GT134047

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Ponoka News, April 24, 2013  

April 24, 2013 edition of the Ponoka News

Ponoka News, April 24, 2013  

April 24, 2013 edition of the Ponoka News