Anyone into gardening here? | GTAMotorcycle.com

Anyone into gardening here?

shanekingsley

Curry - so nice it burns you twice
Site Supporter
Right now I work in the native plant nursery and the greenhouses in High Park. It's an amazing place to work and I get to play with plants all day every day.

I'm also helping out with a big plant sale in Etobicoke on Sunday May 27th put on by the Etobicoke Master Gardeners.

There will be thousands of cheap plants there, many of which were dug out by the Master Gardener's themselves from their own gardens. It's good when plants are acclimatized to our area and not imported from many miles away. Plants for sun, shade, moist or dry - all kinds of perennials and annuals and herbs and vegetables. Cheaper than the garden centers and big box stores too.

It's from 10:30am - 1:00pm at Sunnylea Public School (35 Glenroy Avenue) which is about 3 blocks south of Bloor Street and just east of Royal York.

There will also be free advice clinics there, so if you have gardening questions, we would be happy to help you out:)
Anyone got any big gardening plans this year?
 

nobbie48

Well-known member
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If you need any practice removing tree stumps give me a call. We had a large ash removed last winter due to the borers and I'm making room for new trees. I can not believe how big the roots are. Bigger in cross section than a railway tie.

They took the tree down when I was away and ground down the root but they only took off enough to hide the real monster. If anyone thinks that roots grow in any predictable pattern they are wrong.

I read somewhere that dynamite is the best way to remove stumps. It removes the stump, loosens the soils for the new tree and injects nitrogen into the soil.

The backyard is getting a total makeover. Last fall I killed the collection of weeds that was refered to as lawn, rototilled the mess and re-sodded over a half dozen tote bags of new soil. I've added several tons of rock to make it look relaxed. I've put more miles on my wheelbarrow than my bike.

Right now we're trying to pick replacements for the ash. Serbian Spruce is a maybe.

Once the heavy work is done in the backyard the front gets a rework. It's a weed bed as well. The city took out a Norway maple that had choked itself and we aren't interested in their idea of a replacement.
 
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short stop

Well-known member
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My hostas in the back of my garden won't grow. They are under 2 giant tree's and beside my neighbours garage, they are getting a couple hours in dappled sun. I've talked to neighbours who have hostas also in the shade, and theirs are 3 times as big. I'm starting to think its my soil, where can I get soil tested?
Something ain't right. I have hostas and they are extremely resilient, which is good because I'm not the most knowledgeable gardner. I don't have any suggestions, but maybe a quick Google search for ideas?
 

budgetracing

Well-known member
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This year i'm growing corn, broccoli, snow peas, pumpkins, onions and garlic. I was going to grow some asparagus but i don't have 3 years to waste on that. Next year i want to build a big greenhouse and grow more of the year.
 

shanekingsley

Curry - so nice it burns you twice
Site Supporter
You can get your soil tested at University of Guelph. This link has a few more options.

Some trees like Maples, drink a lot of water and deplete the soil of nutrients and water. So the hostas may be doing poorly due to a lack of either water or nutrients in the soil. Hostas are also prone to some pests like slugs. Different hostas also have different needs - some need more sunlight than other varieties, which can thrive in full shade... What kind of trees are they?

Where did you get your hostas? If they were grown in a different climate and then shipped to Ontario for resale, they may have a hard time adjusting to our climate.

As you can see, there are lots or potential reasons why... post up a a picture or two of them (in their setting) and maybe that will help. Perhaps moving them now to a spot not so close to the trees might also help.
 

bgfa

Well-known member
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My hostas in the back of my garden won't grow. They are under 2 giant tree's and beside my neighbours garage, they are getting a couple hours in dappled sun. I've talked to neighbours who have hostas also in the shade, and theirs are 3 times as big. I'm starting to think its my soil, where can I get soil tested?
Forget testing your soil.

I watched a show where the guy was a Hosta fanatic and he showed how he plants them and I have done this ever since. They are my favs. Dig yours up, divide them with a serrated knife if necessary, and remove all the old soil clumped around the roots. Do not be afraid to be aggressive they are very tough plants. You should be left with just the leaves and the roots, no soil. In the hole make a mound with fresh loam. Drape the roots over the mound evenly. Refill the hole and leave a bit of a bowl in the soil so the water runs towards the plant. Put down slugbait if necessary they love them.
 

jc100

Well-known member
My hostas in the back of my garden won't grow. They are under 2 giant tree's and beside my neighbours garage, they are getting a couple hours in dappled sun. I've talked to neighbours who have hostas also in the shade, and theirs are 3 times as big. I'm starting to think its my soil, where can I get soil tested?
Pine trees or trees that drop needles? The needles can decay and leave the soil none too friendly for other plants.
 

Yamaha_Gurl

Well-known member
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The area is under two large maple trees :( I googled a bit, seems lots of people can't grow hostas under them...so what can I grow? OR could I put some of the hostas in large pots and bury them? The hostas are supposed to be the bigger ones...so I'm not too sure how large of a pot I'd need.
 

Shaft

Well-known member
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I love my little urban garden. This is my second year growing in Toronto but I have 4 kinds of tomatoes, mini cucumbers(for making pickles), sweet peppers, hot peppers, onions, carrots, parsnips and a new herb garden(including dill for pickles). I wanted to try garlic this year but didn't realize I had to plant in the fall so looking forward to that next year.

I haven't started my "flower" garden yet but would love any suggestions. The garden will surround a magnolia tree that we planted when we first bought the house. It is in the middle and wanted to build a garden around it (ie. smaller plants closer to the trunk(annuals) and go taller as you work out(grasses, shrubs, bushes etc)) in a space around 12 x10. Area gets full sun from around 10am-4pm. I'll try to post a picture later if it helps
 

matthew

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The area is under two large maple trees :( I googled a bit, seems lots of people can't grow hostas under them...so what can I grow? OR could I put some of the hostas in large pots and bury them? The hostas are supposed to be the bigger ones...so I'm not too sure how large of a pot I'd need.
If you have Norway Maples (which are common in Toronto due to their salt tolerance) then nothing will grow under neath them. They release chemical inhibitors from their roots that prevent other plants from growing near them.
 

nobbie48

Well-known member
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If you have Norway Maples (which are common in Toronto due to their salt tolerance) then nothing will grow under neath them. They release chemical inhibitors from their roots that prevent other plants from growing near them.
Norways also have a tendency to strangle themselves with their own roots.
 

Vroom

Member
Right now I work in the native plant nursery and the greenhouses in High Park. It's an amazing place to work and I get to play with plants all day every day.



Anyone got any big gardening plans this year?
Noooooo- this is a motorcycle forum--if you wana talk plants, go to a gardening forum! LOL:p
 

shanekingsley

Curry - so nice it burns you twice
Site Supporter
Noooooo- this is a motorcycle forum--if you wana talk plants, go to a gardening forum! LOL:p
Nooooo... someone needs their hand held.... here you go.


Matthew is right about the Norway Maples here... they are like a weed tree in southern Ontario that was highly overused for a period of time... their ability to prevent other plants from growing nearby is a self preservation thing for which the technical term is called Allelopathy. This article has some plants that may work with it and a view on allelopathy. If you decide to plant something else under it, always find out first if that new plant is an invasive plant or not. That said...
There are a few solutions for working with them.
1st, you could elevate the planting area under them - think raised bed, as long as the elevated soil line does not reach the trunk - it should flare away. I have planted some things under Norway maples with success, but they required frequent extra watering and each year I would also leave the leaves that fell on the ground to let them insulate the soil and enrich it when they decompose. Eventually though, the roots of the tree will likely start to grow into the new soil as it searches for fresh nutrients.
2nd, if possible, plant the hosta's as far away from the trunk of the maple as possible. The further away from the trunk (even better is outside the drip line) and the effect of the maple decreases and your other plants will have higher chances of success.
3rd, use plants that grow the most or flower during the spring - before the tree leafs out and casts it's dense shade over them.
4th, try shallow-rooted plants that tolerate dry shade - some examples are Fescue grasses (turf or ornamental), Heuchera's, Columbines, Sedums, Epimediums, Iris's, Ostrich Fern's and more...
5th - whatever you plant, use (natural) mulch to help insulate the soil and retain water better than when the air, heat and sunlight can tend to dry it out even faster.
6th, many people advocate cutting these trees down. I would only cut a tree down like this if I were to replace it with a native species that were better suited to the site and overall conditions. Generally speaking that means it will also turn your shady garden into a sunny spot.

edit: don't put them in pots and bury them... the hosta's will likely out grow the pots and the maple roots will eventually break through and make a mess of the pots. It seems as if you are better off to move the Hosta's and plant something else under the tree (or just put natural mulch there...).
 
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shanekingsley

Curry - so nice it burns you twice
Site Supporter
I love my little urban garden. This is my second year growing in Toronto but I have 4 kinds of tomatoes, mini cucumbers(for making pickles), sweet peppers, hot peppers, onions, carrots, parsnips and a new herb garden(including dill for pickles). I wanted to try garlic this year but didn't realize I had to plant in the fall so looking forward to that next year.

I haven't started my "flower" garden yet but would love any suggestions. The garden will surround a magnolia tree that we planted when we first bought the house. It is in the middle and wanted to build a garden around it (ie. smaller plants closer to the trunk(annuals) and go taller as you work out(grasses, shrubs, bushes etc)) in a space around 12 x10. Area gets full sun from around 10am-4pm. I'll try to post a picture later if it helps
Very nice. Food gardens are best if you can.
With your new garden, you have lots of options due to lots of sun. Post a pic!
You might find help with this list for some plants to choose from.
 

crankcall

Well-known member
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My big dogs have essentially destroyed our gardens so we have made the switch to mostly shrubbery and hardy bushes, they look great and are way less work. Lots of potted flowers and hanging baskets for color, but wow can that cost a bag of cash.

We always do a few herb pots and I now grow tomatos out of pots, its a race , as soon as they get ripe and start to smell good and tomatoey the yellow lab eats them right off the vine. At least he waits till they ripen now......
 

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