This is the proposed reshaping plan. There are blue marks on the garden’s fence, corresponding to this plan.
Ontario has just released its draft Pollinator Health Action Plan for public review. The plan proposes actions to address four stressors: habitat loss, disease, exposure to pesticides and climate change.
Ontario Nature is working with partners to assess the plan and provide recommendations. Stay informed by joining our Action Alert updates.
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Gardening and landscape tools are not cheap. And the more we do to care and maintain them, the longer they last and more efficiently they will perform from season to season and year to year. Of course the best way to keep your gardening tools in tiptop shape is to regularly care for them, not just clean them up once a year.
Always put your tools away clean. This is important because tools that retain moisture can lead to the development of rust. Also, when you have tools and blades that come in contact with various twigs, branches, leaves and dirt, you can easily spread the disease of one plant to another.
Radishes prefer cooler temperatures, so start them early in the season before summer heat. Later in the season, plant on east side of the yard or in partial shade.
Water radishes regularly and evenly to prevent them from cracking or drying out.
To avoid having more radishes than you can eat at once, sow seeds in batches 5 to 10 days apart.
If space is available near a sunny window, start seeds four to eight weeks before the plant-out date in your area (average date of last killing frost). Starting too early usually results in spindly plants due to crowding and lack of sufficient light.
Almost any container with drainage holes in the bottom will work for planting. Paper milk cartons cut in half, Styrofoam cups, tin cans, plastic trays and pots are common containers used. For convenience, however, you may wish to start plants in the plastic trays and pots available at garden supply centers.
Use a rich, well-drained soil. Potting soils made for African violets and other house plants usually are suitable and do not have weed seeds. They are, however, more expensive than soil mixes you can make at home. If you use soil from the yard, it should be top soil that is well drained and not high in clay.
The best soils are often found around established shrubs and trees. Add sphagnum peat and sharp sand to the soil in a ratio of about one-half volume of each, and mixed thoroughly.To kill weed seeds and some damaging soil fungi, place the soil mix in shallow trays or baking pans in an oven for 45 minutes at 250F. For best results, the soil should be moist.
After the soil has cooled, fill containers firmly but do not pack. Allow about 3/4 inch from the soil surface to the rim of the container. Place seeds on the soil surface. Use a piece of window screen or old flour sifter to sift soil over the seeds to the depth indicated on the seed packet.
If you use compartmentalized trays or individual peat pots, place two or three seeds in each pot. Do not cover too deeply, as this may reduce or prevent seed germination. As a general rule, cover no more than four times the diameter of the seed.
Apply a fine spray of water to avoid washing the seed, causing them to float to the soil surface. Household window sprayers are suitable. Cover the containers with plastic sheets or panes of glass and place in a cool room (60 to 65F) away from direct sunlight until germination.
When seeds germinate, move them gradually (over two or three days) into brighter light. When the seedlings have developed the first true leaves (the leaves above the cotyledons or ‘seed leaves’), thin to one plant per container if using partitioned trays or peat pots. Use tweezers to pinch off unwanted seedlings rather than pulling them, to avoid disturbing the remaining seedling.
If seeds were planted in larger containers, transplant into individual peat pots or other small containers. An alternative is to thin the seedlings so they are spread about 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart and leave them in the larger containers. This method, however, makes inefficient use of seed and space.
Water seedlings carefully. Small containers used for starting plants dry out quickly. On the other hand, soil kept soaking wet inhibits seedling growth and may kill the plants.
About one week prior to planting-out time, gradually expose seedlings to longer periods outdoors unless temperatures are below 50F. At the same time, reduce watering to a minimum as long as plants do not wilt. This will help the plants adjust to full exposure without undergoing undue shock at planting time.
Pollinators are organisms that aid the transfer of flower pollen to allow for the fertilization of plants, which is essential to fruit and seed production. Bees are the principal pollinators, but there are other pollinators as well. These include insects such as flies, moths, butterflies, wasps, and even some beetles. They also include hummingbirds and certain bats.
Threats to Pollinators
One of main threats to pollinators is habitat loss.Expanding urbanization and agricultural development eat up the habitat of these creatures. Pesticides also take their toll. Due to their small size, many pollinators can be killed by even small quantities.
The Buzz on Bees
Bees are the most important of our pollinators. And yet they are probably the most misunderstood and the least appreciated. The honey bee is not native to Canada. It was introduced from Europe almost 400 years ago. Unlike honey bees, the majority of our native bees are solitary.
Helping Pollinators in Your Garden
* Provide the greatest diversity of flowers possible, ensuring there are a number of different flowers in bloom at any time from early spring through the summer and into the fall.
* Choose native flowers rather than exotic.
*Provide a diversity of flower shapes and sizes.
* Choose heirloom varieties which are more likely to have retained their ability to produce nectar and pollen.
* Plant clusters of each flower species – in clumps of three to five plants – to attract attention of pollinators.