City of Belleville, 265 Cannifton Road, Belleville ON K8N 4V8 Tel: 613-966-4632 TTY: 613-771-9781 Fax: 613-967-3207 rccsgeneral@belleville.ca

Gardening

The Recreation, Culture and Community Services Department has created 4 weeks of fun activities throughout the month of June. Below are the gardening tips.

Make sure you come back every Sunday for the month of June for something new. We also have Activities & Crafts on Tuesdays and Backyard Cook Out on Fridays.

Gardening Tips

Sunday June 28, 2020

Eliminating Dead Grass

  • Make sure your mower blades are sharp.
  • Dull mower blades can split your grass and make it hard to grow and hold nutrients.
  • Water your lawn regularly (best to do it before 10am or after 6pm). Check to make sure your area does not have a water restriction or water ban.
  • Weed it – weeds suck out a lot of the water and nutrients from your soil that your grass needs to grow.
  • Remove thatch – rake it to get all dead matter, roots, leaves, and debris off your lawn for water to really absorb.
  • Re-seed it and feed it- Apply new grass seed, water it and once the grass has begun to grow fertilize it.
  • Leave some clippings behind- as your light layer of clippings decomposes the nutrients go back into your lawn and soil.
  • Aerate it- aerating your lawn helps it breath.  Putting smalls holes in your lawn helps moisture get to the root of your grass and reduces soil compaction.
  • Remember it takes time – grass doesn’t grow over night and it will need weekly attention; be patient and keep working at it. 

Sunday June 21, 2020

Trimming Plants and Bushes

Tips

  • With hedge clippers remove 1/4 to 1/3 of all your old branches.  Doing this allows the sunlight to reach the rest of your bush or plant and allows the sun to work its way to the middle.
  • Clip any branches or stems that are growing or drooping to the ground.
  • Cut your Y shaped branches above the split – this allows your plant to continue to grow and spread out. As it grows this gives it that full plant look.
  • Work to remove any small branches that are not showing growth. This promote new health growth and give your bush a fresh new look.
  • As you cut your branches, always remember to take a few steps back and look at your plant.  You don’t want to over trim it or start to get an unwanted shape to your plant/bush.
  • Compost and properly dispose of what you have removed.
  • Water your plant or bush to re-hydrate it after removing all the old branches.

 

Sunday June 14, 2020

Vegetable Garden

Tips

  • Plant vegetables that you really enjoy and want to eat.  Don’t think only about the summer, but consider what you can preserve or freeze and use through the winter.
  • Plant your favorite things- if you love salsa and spaghetti, plant tomatoes and peppers – you will be more likely to keep up with your garden if you like the vegetables you are looking after.
  • Read the package before you plant- plant spacing is a real thing and for optimal growth some plants need more space.  Things like zucchini and cucumbers spread out and need space to grow.  Some plants also need more space because they absorb so much water.
  • Weeds grow quickly and can ruin a garden in a few days, try to keep up with weeding or use mulch to help cut out the weeds.
  • Write it down or draw it out.  It is important to know where you planted each item. If you lose your drawing or you are unsure what is a plant vs a weed there are lot of online Apps available to help you out. A watermelon, cantaloupe and squash can all look similar in the beginning so having a drawing to refer to can really help!
  • Take care of your soil- amending your soil each year really does add value to your garden- this can be done with manure, compost or a nutrient addition
  • Be prepared for the pests that come with a garden.  Potato bugs and tomato worms are a real thing. Make sure you are checking your plants and removing the bugs as needed.  Don’t think just because your tomato has a small spot on it or your kale has been nibbled on the edge that it’s no good.  Wash your fresh vegetable, cut off the questionable part and still enjoy it.
  • Think about flowers or fruit: Gardens and plants thrive on pollination.  Planting some flowers around your garden or growing it next to an apple tree will help the bees know to pollinate around your plants
  • Water as needed.  Each week your plants will need at least one deep water feeding.  You don’t want to over water, but if you have been waiting for rain make sure you water your plants to help their growth. Before watering check to make sure your area does not have a water ban or water restriction.
  • The last step it always the best step: wash, eat, and enjoy your home grown fresh vegetables!

Sunday June 7, 2020

Herb Garden

Materials

  • Mason Jar or open spot of soil
  • Soil
  • Herb packets

Tips

Some things to think about when you’re starting your herb garden:

  • Herbs don’t need to be planted in a large patch of dug up ground.  Grab some old empty mason jars, put some dirt in them and grow your herbs in the window, on your back deck or just in a nice sunny area.
  • Don’t grow your herb garden too far away from your house. The best things about herbs is they can go with EVERY meal so you want them close to your home and easy to access.
  • Some easy herbs to grow in pots or open soil are Basil, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Chives, and Mint.
  • Make sure you label your garden so you know what herb you planted in each spot or jar.  If you forget to label there are a ton of Apps available online to help you identify plants, herbs and weeds.
  • If you grow your herbs in a pot or jar, when the summer is over you can move them into your house in a sunny window sill and have an indoor plant that provides great flavors to your meals.
  • Herbs can be frozen or dried.   You can grow enough herbs in the summer to last you the whole year and it will be your own homegrown seasoning to get you through the winter months.
  • Try not to over water your herbs; read the package as you plant them as most herbs only need 1-2 inches a water each week to grow.