Burnett: Garden tours a great way to learn about new ideas
As gardeners we buy books, search the Internet, go to seminars and watch television for ideas to enhance our gardening experience.
This is all good, however I find the best way by far to get down to earth ideas that will fit nicely into our local conditions is to go on the garden tour.
Did you miss it last year? We all did because it didn’t happen.
Well, it’s back this year better than ever and the lineup is outstanding. In all, there are eight gardens ranging from a small heritage lakeshore property to a large acreage.
Each garden has a special guest educator or garden related vendor and this year I am pleased to participate as a guest, as I have in the past.
Some of the others include Vic MacDonald who will talk about bees and their importance to gardeners.
Marcia Brown will represent the City of Kelowna and its Ogogrow and composting program.
The community gardens people will also be available to talk about their great program of providing garden space for those who need it.
Master gardeners will be in attendance to answer gardening questions and Gwen Steele will be on hand to talk about xeriscape gardening.
All in all it is a must do for all gardeners looking for ideas and to experience a day of enjoying the fruits of someone else’s labours.
Tickets are on sale at most garden centres in Kelowna and in West Kelowna as well as at Green and Bear It in the Mission. All of the proceeds will go to four community gardens projects, two in West Kelowna and two in Kelowna, as well as to the continuation of the Leon Street Beautification Project started last year by the Communities in Bloom committee.
I often talk about the number of planters and baskets that bite the dust within a few weeks of life in the Okanagan heat. The two important things to keep plants in containers happy are water and nutrient. A third factor which for some species of plants is just about as important is dead heading and trimming back to encourage new growth.
Fertilizing regularly with a water soluble such as 20-20-20 on a weekly or bi-weekly regimen is important as well a slow release granule type can be applied for insurance.
To help with the watering there is a product on the market I highly recommend called Rechargeable Solid Water.
The product is a mesh bag that holds a cross-linked polymer that is non-toxic and biodegradable.
The bag with the polymer is placed at the root zone of a plant. As the name implies it stores water and divvies it out as the plant needs it then is recharged every time the plant is watered.
This does not mean your containers don’t need watering however it is another insurance in our Okanagan heat that more baskets and tubs will remain beautiful for the entire season.
The website is www.rechargeablesolidwater.com/index.htm
Tune in to The Don Burnett Garden Show on AM 1150 News Talk Sports Saturdays from 8 to 10 a.m.