Do not plant deeply. Burying the stems of most plants is a mistake. The stem will rot if covered. Otherwise follow directions for annuals.Always plant as the label suggests (sun/shade). Covering marginally hardy plants with leaves, or flax straw in late fall and removing in early spring will ensure better overwintering.
Enjoy your plants. They are beautiful and with a little knowledge and love, your yard can be stunning!
Annuals and veggies can be planted outside once the plants can fully handle the weather. Each plant has a different cold threshold. Some may be able to handle minus 5 while others only survive frost free weather.
Water when you plant. Plant in moist soil. Rain may sustain plants but during a dry spell you will need to check the soil. If you use your finger as a dipstick again and the soil is dry and hard, water is needed. If the soil can still be rolled between your fingers, no water is needed.
Fertilizing a flower bed or garden can be done several ways.
- Use a well decomposed compost/manure and work in to the soil before you plant.
- Use a granular fertilizer monthly during the growing season.
- Use a water soluble fertilizer attachment to your garden hose - several different products are available.
Fertilizing can make the difference between having a few tomatoes or a plant full of fruit. Flowers will also be more prolific if “fed” well.
When planting, plant at the existing level of roots/soil.
Hanging baskets and containerized plants are beautiful! Keeping them that way is easy. Here are a few tips. Water as needed and check often. Watering is the single most important ingredient in maintaining your plants. Think of all plants as a car engine. We don’t add oil once a day or once a month on a schedule. We add oil when the dipstick reads “low”. The plants and their soil will tell you, and your finger is the dipstick. If you stick your finger in and the soil feels dry and the basket is light, it is time to water. Water until the water comes out of the bottom of the container and then let the container dry out again - until the soil is dry and the basket is light. Over watering will only occur if you don’t let the soil breathe (dry out a little). If your plant is wilting and the basket is light, water is overdue. This is most common on hot and windy times of the year. Check your baskets for water once a day, and during extreme heat, twice a day. Wilting can also occur from over watering (not allowing a little bit of dry time). Unfortunately, when a plant wilts from over watering the problem is usually terminal as the wilting is caused by root rot.
Fertilizing is also necessary. Pale leaves and reduced blooms are signs of an under fertilized plant. Follow the directions on the product label as each will be different. Water soluble is great - we use it but it must be used every or every other time we water. Slow release is a little bit less maintenance. When using slow release fertilizer it is still a good idea to supplement with water soluble fertilizer once every week or two to give the plant a boost.
If your plant becomes lanky or is not blooming as much in mid summer, it can then be cut back by half. The new growth will look great until frost hits.
Wind can cause your basket to fall or become battered. If you know it will be a windy day, take your plant down and to a more sheltered area.
Protect your plants from frost. Most plants will not handle any frost. If you bring them into a building for night, you can extend the life of your basket into the fall.
First winters in a new environment can be a concern if there is not adequate snow coverage on the roots as they are the most cold susceptible part of the plant. If by mid-November there is not at least 4” – 6” of snow around your plant, cover with 8” of flax straw in a 3’ circle. (Wheat straw can be used but is more attractive to rodents.)
Evergreens and marginally hardy shrubs benefit from the use of screening with burlap to protect from winter sun and wind. Put 4 stakes in the ground around the plant to make a square frame. Staple the burlap to the frame ensuring the branches are not touching the burlap. Plants generally do not like to be rubbed. Leave the top open to allow snow to drop in and cover the roots. Marginally hardy plants also benefit from placing bags of leaves around the stems for extra insulation.
If you are trying to start trees in more open areas or are toying with less hardy varieties, it is a good idea to surround the stem with insulation for the first several winters. A reasonably priced way to do this is to use stucco wire as a main frame. Place wooden stakes on wither side of the tree to brace the stucco wire. Make a narrow fence approximately 2’ wide around the tree with the wire. Fill the structure with flax straw. Place a jar of mouse poison sideways near the stem. The top branches will stick out, but they are the hardiest part of the tree. Once the tree is established, this will no longer be necessary.
Plants should be insulated near the end of October or early November. Unwrap them again in early April. You do not want to leave it on too long because it could cause stem rot from warmth or moisture.
Please return your pots for a discount towards your next purchase and as good stewardship of our environment. Though we accept smaller pots form perennials, etc. only black 1 gallon size and up will merit a discount.
-Tree wrap the bottom 3-4' of the stem for winter (a white plastic wrap with a slit is better than the spirals or black weeping tile). The most important trees to protect are fruit trees and smooth-barked trees, and will also help reduce frost cracking and sunscald.
-Stucco wire fences can be built easily to ward off deer and rabbits. Attach both ends of a ~10' length of stucco wire to a stake around the tree trunk; use appropriate lengths to surround a shrub. The is most appropriate for low-branched or multi-stemmed fruit trees (where the branches lie near the snow line), or shrubs like cedars that are high on a deer's list of favourite snacks.
-Deterrent substances like Scoot or chili peppers can be effective, though they may need to be re-applied after rain and wet snowfall. Human hair scattered around plants or hanging soap (like Irish Spring) from branches may also help keep deer away.
-Fencing the area tends to be the most guaranteed way to keep deer off your valued plants - whether it's just your garden or your entire yard. If the yard is very open, fences 12'+ or a double 6' row with a few feet in between may be necessary for complete prevention; in forested areas a single 6' fence is often sufficient to discourage most deer from even trying. It should be made of visible material like wire or wood.
-Grow deer deterrent plants around the entire perimeter of a garden or orchard. Daffodils, Foxglove, Yarrow, and asparagus are examples of plants deer do not like. This may work best in combination with other deterrents.
-Keep a dog that lives outdoors. Just be aware that puppies can sometimes chew plants themselves!
Most damage caused by insects and fungi is manageable and mainly aesthetic; it is mostly when pest populations become unbalanced (usually caused by unusual weather conditions or previous human "interventions") that a healthy tree is in danger of dying from pests.
-Observe your plants for signs of stress - a stressed tree will not fight off insects and disease as well. Stress usually shows up first in the leaves through discolouration or shape distortion. Contact us or use reputable pest identification resources if you suspect your tree is struggling
-If a pest has been identified, look for organic solution or cultural control. Sometimes all a plant needs is some proper pruning or correct amounts of irrigation.
-Never spray pesticides preventatively - pesticides disrupt the balance of insect or fungal populations which include a host of insect or fungal allies; preventative use tends to set up worse infestations in the future by reducing the predator populations in your local area. Always identify which pest is becoming a problem before choosing a remedy: some treatments will not be as effective, especially if an insecticide is sprayed on a fungal issue, or vice-versa. The best prevention is ensuring the plant has healthy soil, a preferred environmental location, and adequate moisture and nutrients.
-Timing is essential with almost every intervention, and there is no point in wasting money on ineffective treatments. Care must also be taken to follow all labels. If a pesticide like malathion must be used to control outbreaks of insects like curculio on fruit trees, it should be applied precisely.
-Fungal diseases usually show up as powdery substances or mushroom-like protrusions, or spots, blotches, and/or discolourations on branches and leaves. Weather conditions are the top contributor - different fungi prefer different temperatures, but the worst tend to spread at 25-30C with humidity. Harmful diseases like fireblight will kill branches from the tips of branches inward toward the stem. Watch out for entire leaves losing their green colour, or dying branches, especially if the new growth is curled over like a shepherd's crook.
-Irrigate the roots, not the leaves: many fungal issues are caused by leaves staying wet overnight - if you can't avoid overhead irrigation, water in the early morning.
-Remove diseased leaves in fall - don't compost diseased leaves or branches; particularly deadly diseases like fireblight. At the same time, it is very useful to compost healthy branch clippings and leaves near your woody plants to encourage beneficial soil organisms. These beneficial fungi and bacteria increase the health of the soil and will allow the tree to fight off pest diseases easier.
-Copper or sulphur sprays can be effective against fungal or bacterial issues - always read the labels to make sure the product will treat the current disease. Avoid over-applying these fungicides on the leaves since they may get into the soil. The more often they are applied, the more reliant a tree or shrub becomes on human intervention. Tolerating minor aesthetic infections may save costly future interventions.
-Watch out for small holes chewed out of the leaves, or leaf skeletonization. Soft-bodied worms or bugs tend to be the worst culprits in Manitoba, whereas a lot of their predators tend to be hard-shelled. Get to know your insect allies like Ladybugs, Minute Pirate Bugs, Ground and Rove Beetles, Stinkbugs, Lacewings, and Damsel Bugs. Plant a wide variety of shrubs and flowers to encourage healthy insect populations that keep the pests in check.
-In a heavy outbreak, Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) or horticultural oils are useful solutions for leaf-eating pests. D.E. can be found at local agriculture supply stores. When applying D.E., wear a mask because the powder can be harmful to your lungs, or mix it with water and spray on the leaves and soil - just avoid spraying flowers. D.E. and oils must be re-applied after rainfall.
-If an insect like plum curculio on fruit trees has been present in previous years causing high percentage of fruit damage, use insecticides like malathion just after all the flowers have dropped, and then re-apply a week later. The timing is critical, and it cannot be sprayed while pollinators are flying. Traps can also be set up to target specific pests.
-When in doubt, we can help you identify your plant stresses and recommend sustainable approaches to pest management.
Always keep a black ring of soil around young trees for the following reasons: a) Grass will rob moisture and nutrients and cut growth rates by 50 – 70%; b) Weed whacking around trees strips off the bark, stunting and eventually killing the tree c) It is simply easier to mow around. The circle of black dirt should be a minimum diameter of 2’ – 3’ and should be maintained until the tree has a 4” – 5” caliper or larger. For shrubs, maintain the circle of soil for the life of the plant. Bark or stone mulch may be placed on top of the soil to help retain moisture and reduce weeds. Weed disks are also an affordable, organic, simple way to achieve the same results.
Fertilizing should be done from mid-April to mid-July only, with the exception of a very late fall application if desired. Because the plant needs to slow down its growth in August and September, it does not need any extra nitrogen at that time. When fertilizing, remember that the highest needs occur during the most vigorous growth period. This period coincides with the most heat and moisture, usually mid-May to mid-July.
Yellowing of leaves is very common to see on several varieties of plants. Yellowing can occur for several reasons. The plant may be too wet or too dry. The third reason is lime induced Iron Chlorosis. Too wet or too dry can be identified by leaves being uniformly pale yellow and starting at the center of the plant, not at the fresh growth. Iron Chlorosis can be identified by leaves of fresh growth being yellow but the veins remaining green. It is most evident in July. Iron Chlorosis can be resolved with an application of iron or sulfur. Sulfur has proven to be the most economical solution.
Staking trees is beneficial if planting in a windy location. If only using one stake, place it on the side the wind usually comes from (generally the west or north west). If using two stakes, place them across from each other. Place the stake 10” – 14” away from the young tree. Use a piece of rubber garden hose as a cushion between the tree and the wire. Do not put the stake right up against the tree because the tree will get scarred by the stake during wind movement and because the tree will not develop tissue strength to resist wind in the future.
When planting, try to remove the plant with soil intact. For larger plants or trees, lay the pot sideways and pull the plant out. The soil will slip out easier if the soil is on the dry side. Allow it to dry out for 24 – 36 hours if having difficulty. For 1 – 2 gallon pots, tipping upside down and holding the soil with the palm of your hand works well. Dig a hole three times the width of the pot but only as deep as the pot. Make the hole “saucer shaped”. Digging deeper can cause the plant to settle too far down and drown or rot the stem. Place the plant inside the hole and refill the hole with a mix of 30% peat moss and 70% original soil. Make sure you only cover the top of the plant soil ball with ½” soil. No more. Too much soil on top will cause the stem to rot. The pot soil should be level with the native soil. Old manure can be used as a replacement for peat moss at a slightly reduced rate. This ensures good side root growth into the soft soil. Make a dike around your plant approximately 3” high to hold the water rather than having it run off when you water. The dike should be around the outside edge of the hole and at least 18” in diameter for a 1 – 3 gallon plant and 3’ for anything larger.
After planting, fill up your dike with water and allow to soak in and water once more. Do Not Water Everyday. Give the plant an equivalent of 1” – 2” of rain each week. Water at 3 – 5 day intervals depending on weather conditions. Fill the dike slowly at each watering. Water at a ratio of 1 gallon of water to 1 gallon pot size.
Over watering and under watering are the two most common ways to stress your plant. If it rains 1” – 2” per week, do not water. If your plant is in a very hot, sunny location, it will need to be watered more often. The best rule for watering is water well at planting time. There after check with your finger at a 2” – 3” depth. If the soil is sticky enough to roll between your fingers, it is still moist enough. If it is hard, dry and crusty at a 2” depth, it is either due or overdue for watering. Remember that wilting can occur with both over and under watering. Note that sprinkler systems on lawns should be set for only every 3 – 5 days. All plants develop a deeper root system if they need to search for water. It is better to water heavier and less often.
This questionnaire will help us figure out what is causing issues with your plant. It can be used for stressed or dead plants, and we will provide diagnosis and care tips whether they are covered by our standard warranty or not (this is a benefit of our lifetime support). The more thorough and accurate you can be, the better advice we can provide for your future success! When in doubt, estimate. For multiple choice questions, circle all that apply.
Feel free to write comments/extra details, and preferably email 3 in-focus pictures: A close up of issue; the bottom of the stem; and the whole plant and immediate surroundings. You can print the questions out then write in the answers and/or circle the options and scan it/take a picture, or you can answer this form via email, numbering your answers for clarity (use the subject line: Plant Troubleshooting Form).
If you want to inquire about warranty eligibility, also attach a picture of your receipt.
Name of Customer:
List of Plants affected:
1. Describe the planting site’s soil: (Heavy Clay) (Sandy) (Loam/Imported Topsoil)
2. How long do puddles last after a heavy rain in summer? (a few hours) (1-3 days) (4+ days)
3. Is the site protected from the wind ? (North protection) (East) (South) (West)
4. How much sun does it receive? Sunshine begins:_____(am/pm) || Sunshine Ends: ______ (am/pm)
*Or describe when the site receives shade:_________________________________________________
1. Date of purchase ______________ | Date of planting: ________________
2. How wide did you dig the hole? _____(ft/m) How deep? _______(ft/m)
3. Describe the root ball at planting: (Maintained Shape) (Fell Apart) (Rootbound) (I loosened roots)
4. How deep was the top of the root ball after planting? (Equal to grade) (Less than 2” of soil on top)
(Root ball above grade) (More than 2” of soil on top)
5. Describe mulch around plant: (Woodchips) (Stone) (Colour:__________) (None)
*Diameter: _______ (ft/m) *Depth: ________ (ft/m)
6. Did you build a watering ring/dike around the plant? (Yes) (No)
*Diameter: _______ (ft/m) *Height: _______ (ft/m)
1. Describe how the plant was watered: (A gallon or less per soak) (More than a gallon per soak)
(Every day) (Once per 3-5 days) (Once per week) (Once per month) (Less than once per month)
*I usually checked the soil 3-4” deep for dryness before watering as per care sheet: (Yes) (No)
2. Describe how the plant was fertilized: (Did not fertilize) (Bonemeal when planted)
*Type of fertilizer (N/P/K): ___________ *Amount applied, timing: _______________
3. Did you prune the plant: (Yes) (When: ______________________________) (No)
4. Were any herbicides applied within 200’ before the plant started suffering? (Yes) (No)
Winter Care (if applicable)
1. Circle/Describe all that apply: (Number of winters in the ground:____)
(I added mulch for winter - type: ___________________________) (I kept watering until frost)
(I put up a burlap fence around my evergreen) (I noticed an issue in fall: ____________________)
*Snow cover: (completely covered) (half covered) (exposed)
-Describe any other pertinent information; when did you first notice issues, how did it progress?
Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and onion plants can be planted in early - mid May as they can handle -3 Celsius temperatures. Should the temperature go lower than -3 make sure to cover the plants with blankets to save them from freezing.
Most seeds can be planted between May 15th and 20th.
Tomatoes, watermelons, and pepper plants are more weather tender and need to be planted after the risk of frost is gone; end of May or even early June is the safest time.
Rule of thumb - don't plant any tree or shrub deeper than the level of soil in the pot.
Dig a hole about as deep as the pot is tall and about twice as wide as the pot.
It is helpful for the roots if you loosen the dirt on the sides of the hole by making cuts into the sides with your shovel.
Take the pot of your plant and stick the plant into the hole.
Fill in the sides of the hole with loose soil and pack into all in.
You can put a tiny layer of soil on top of the roots to help pack everything in but again the soil should be no higher than it was in the pot or the trunk will rot.
Fruit plants will not give fruit until they have become established in their planted spot. Each kind of fruit will vary in its establishing time.
Most fruit shrubs (honeyberries, gooseberries, currents, grapes, ......) will give fruit in the second year after they have been planted. Cherries may take 3 years to give fruit.
Apple & Plum trees will range from 2 - 4 years.
Pear trees can take up to 5 - 6 years.
If you keep the soil around your fruit plants black (free of weeds, grass etc.), fertilizer, and water them regularly this will speed up their establishing process. It will take a plant much longer to settle in if they are fighting against weeds, don't have enough moisture etc.
Trees & Shrubs:
Make a small dike around your plant (about a 1/2' away from the trunk) and then fill the dike full with water. 2 - 3 days later check the soil about 1" below the surface; if the soil crumbles between your fingers, fill the dike again; if the soil is sticky leave it for another day or two then check again. Always check the soil before watering :) You don't want to leave your plant totally dry or continually soggy.
Remember to think about the weather when watering. If it has been raining lots you may not need to water as much, if it has been raining just a little the soil may be wet on top but totally dry underneath - always check; if it has been hot and dry or very windy you may need to water every other day instead of every 3. If you keep an eye on your plants they will thrive for you :)
Baskets & Containers:
Stick your finger into the soil up to you first knuckle, if the soil feels dry water the basket or container until you can see the water running out of the bottom of the pot. If the soil is still damp let it sit for another day. Once you have watered the basket or container let it dry out until the dry is crumbly again. Baskets & containers do not like to be continually soggy. Dry is better than wet for baskets and containers; if you maintain even moisture they will bloom for you again and again.
A 10" basket or container will usually bloom steadily until end of July, if fertilized and watered regularly. The larger the size of the basket the longer the plant will bloom as it has more room to grow.
If you plants stops flowering, gets leggy or sparse you can trim it back to about 3" from the rim of the basket. Place the basket in a part sun / part shade area and give it careful watering and fertilizing as it needs. This will help it grow back into fullness.
Another option is to transplant your basket or container into a larger pot. This will give the plant more room for root space thus better branching and flowering :) A trim will also be helpful clean up any leggy branches in this situation.
There are two options for fertilizing.
Option #1 fertilize once in mid April and once again in late June or early July. Do not fertilize after the first week of July otherwise the plant will continue to send out new growth and will not go dormant on time for winter. All that new growth will die and create an opening for freezing within the plant.
Option #2 fertilizer once in late October when the plant has gone dormant. This fertilizer will not act until next spring but will save you some time then. In spring you can fertilizer once in mid June. Don't fertilize any earlier than mid June if you fertilized in fall; the fertilizer from fall will still be acting in early spring and you can do burn damage to the plant if you add more fertilizer to early.
We usually recommend fertilizing your baskets & containers at least once a week, however each fertilizer is different. Check the instructions on the package your fertilizer came in for the amount to put into your container or basket and how often.
If you have a water soluble fertilizer you can fertilize every time you water, this is a fast acting fertilizer so make sure you do not add to much of the fertilizer powder into your watering can as you don't want to make it to powerful for you plant. After 3 - 4 waterings water once without any fertilizer to give the plant a cleanse.
If you have a slow release fertilizer put 1 tbsp. of fertilizer in your container or basket every two weeks. If you notice that your plants leaves are yellowing or lack flowers you can give the plant a fast boost with a one time shoot of water soluble fertilizer.
You can fertilizer your baskets & containers all season long, from May - September.
Good news!! For container grown trees and shrubs if the ground is not frozen you can plant anytime spring, summer, or fall :)
Moving (transplanting) an established plant or planting a bare root plant should only be done when the plant is dormant (no leaves). Early spring or late fall is best.
Evergreens are the exception for transplanting (moving from one planted location to another). These can be moved early spring before they bud out or after mid august and through out the fall. Evergreens can be transplanted earlier in fall than other plant varieties because of their very early dormancy.
You can find information about our warranty in the document below
Each plant variety has different pruning needs. If you do not find information about your plant here please call before clipping.
The timing of tree pruning is quite simple. The best time is late winter to early spring, or late fall once all the growth is finished. Late September till freeze up is good. Maples and Birches are exceptions to spring pruning as they will "bleed" sap, causing some stress; they should be pruned in the fall.
Shrubs grown primarily for foliage can be pruned almost all year around. These varieties include: Dogwoods, Amur Maples, Sumacs, Alpine Currents, Cotoneaster, Ninebark, and Barberries.
Flowering shrubs are a bit trickier. Some shrubs bloom off of fresh growth and some off of last years growth. Fresh growth bloomers can be pruned first thing in spring. These varieties would include: Hydranges, Potentillas, Dwarf Pink Spireas, False Spireas, Honey suckles, and Roses.
Plants blooming off of last years growth should be pruned immediately after they have finished flowering. This is generally mid to late June. If they are pruned at other times during the year you will cut off the new flower buds.These varieties include: Lilacs, Tall White Spireas, and Mock Oranges.
It is best for Evergreen trees and shrubs to be pruned early spring so that their fresh growth can cover the clipped look.
The easiest and most productive shape for an apple tree is maintaining a central leader with 3 sets of "scaffold branches" roughly 3' apart vertically. A scaffold is a set of 3-5 branches radiating out from the trunk in all directions (within a vertical span of 1-2 feet). This allows sufficient light to filter through for optimal apple production and air circulation.
You do not want to prune more than 30% of the tree in one season, so the priority for removing branches is:
-Dead or diseased branches as soon as you notice them; sterilize pruners (10% bleach) between every cut when removing branches infected with fireblight
-Suckers growing from the base of the tree
-Structural pruning: crossing branches cause the most problems, and then any Y-shaped branches. Once those are all removed, move on to branches that are straight up or down (ideal branch angle is 30-60*)
-Thinning: remove branches that are growing too close to each other - imagine how the light travels through the tree. Start at the top of the tree, since light needs to filter through to get to the lower branches, and work your way down.
Always prune at an angle upwards towards a healthy bud that's facing a direction you want the branch to grow (cut just above the bud), or cut just above the collar of a healthy branch intersection (only cut the smoother wood; the collar is the swollen interlocking wood grain that encircles the base of a branch).
ENJOY YOUR PLANTS!
THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL AND WITH A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE AND LOVE,
YOUR YARD CAN BE STUNNING!
Plant Warranty Information
KNOWLEDGE IS 80% OF YOUR SUCCESS!
Even plants that are very hardy to the prairies can benefit from proper location and winter wind protection. If we go all the way back to the basics, we would begin by growing a shelter belt around your yard, especially if you live on the bald prairie or on the edge of town. The difference in climate is substantial between a sheltered yard and an open area.