This past Saturday morning was amazing in that we got so many outdoor chores done. Yay us! For example, Warren drove his truck with trailer over to the Highline Mushroom plant and bought a whole trailer load of mushroom compost – all for my new garden beds. So cheap. Only 5.00 for a whole trailer load.
The stuff didn’t smell too bad and was light and fluffy when shoveling it on to my rototilled new beds. Nevertheless, any physical work is unusual for me. I’m so out of shape and not use to using those muscles. Half way through the messy job I had to quit and clean up. I had tickets for an afternoon show at the Regent Theatre in Picton. Ed Lawrence, CBC radio’s Gardening Guru was giving a talk on gardening.
For over thirty years Ed Lawrence has hosted a weekly one-hour phone-in gardening show. It is one of the longest running and most popular segments in Canadian broadcast history. Ed Lawrence was also the Chief horticultural Specialist for the National Capital Commission and his responsibilities included Rideau Hall and six other official residences including those of the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. The guy is full of down-to-earth practical advice for home gardeners.
He gave quite an entertaining talk and after he asked the audience if they had any general gardening questions. I stood up to the microphone. There were two questions I had in mind, both related to my current project.
According to Ed, mushroom compost is an excellent choice. He suggested that it would be best to spread it out and let the rain wash out any salt content before planting. Apparently mushroom compost is made from horse manure, straw, chicken manure and gypsum. Both the organic manure and the gypsum increase the salt content. Who knew? Great.
Next question I asked was how do you transplant perennials from an over grown grass invested bed without taking along clumps of grass and infesting the new bed with grass. Ed explained that this was the perfect time of the year to transplant because everything was still dormant. He listed these easy steps. Dig out the old plant. Take out as much of the root ball as you can and soak that in water. Hand pull away any grass and soil before moving that directly into the new location, planting it at the same depth as the original location. Get some organic matter and add some rock phosphate or bone meal to stimulate the roots. (The middle number of prepared fertilizer shows the portion for root development e.g. 10-10-10. (you want a high middle number). Water it in well so there are no air pockets left around the roots. Viola!
How timely? It is suppose to be warm today and lots of rain tonight. You know what that means? I must get off my butt and do some physical work. Now! But first I’m off to the garden centre to buy some bone meal for root development.
BTW – the boys are now heading up to Duluth and the Canadian border. I’m eating caramel corn, left over from the big bowl I made last night. What else goes this well with coffee at 10 a.m. in the morning?