Friday, April 27, 2018

Spring at Veseys!

Awe my favourite time of the year has arrived again! Days are becoming longer, temperatures are slowly warming, the re-birth of our plants and trees and of course that famous spring smell that we fondly remember, at least most days!

Even though spring can challenge us with temperature fluctuations and dampness, it still doesn't crush our spring fever as the weather is only going to get better, and this happens every year.  The promise of warm sunny days and the excitement of seeing all of our plants return for a new season is a big part of what makes everyone so cheerful this time of year. 

Some parts of Canada already are enjoying consistent double digits and into spring planting already!  I know this for sure as my brother Darren lives in Ontario and texts me the weather report each day. This is part of a blessing and a curse when weather determined how we spent our days on our family farm. This practice just never leaves you no matter how much time has gone by.  Weather has always been an important part of anyone's day whether you are an urban or a rural resident.

In the midst of left over stocks of perennials from last season, grows our early bulbs to remind us of all the good things that are coming. If some of your bulbs don't surface or tree limbs are broken, these are signs of nature looking after itself. No matter what type of winter you had, backyards and towns always seem to manage to transform so quickly as we watch the beauty grow from late winter to early spring.  If you have lost a few plants from one year to the next, that's OK because it gives you an excuse to make new additions to your garden.

Veseys has quite an array of new selections for 2018 as well as new trends to spruce up your garden for another season.  Why not renovate your garden just like you do with the inside of your home.
Whether its trees, shrubs, fruits/berries,veggies or flowers, we have you covered.
Garden bed rejuvenation can take a lot of work, but make it fun! Keep in mind that if time doesn't allow to get it all done in one day or even one season, just choose one section at a time.
As with interior design, exterior design trends change too...One of my favourite plants in the 2018 Veseys Line up is:

As you can see by this picture above, is it any wonder why Snaggle Tooth Daylily is one of my fav picks for this year!  The stunning purple shades are enlaced with a unique icy edging, and eye-catching lime green centre.  Along with the beauty of each bloom, it is a reliable "re-bloomer" as well. This will sure make your landscape stand out each season!

I have always been a fan of "collecting" new varieties of perennials each year, however we only have so much space and as the saying goes, more is less.  It also takes a lot of time and dedication to keep your beds in good shape so keep in mind that they will be a size that you can manage before you begin.

Are you looking for a new shrub to add to your garden this year?  We have listed a new shrub known as Winecraft Black Smokebush pictured below.
Cotinus coggygria.  'Winecraft' is a far superior variety. Plants are more compact and less unruly than old-fashioned varieties. Best of all is the colouring of the charming round leaves. They start out a deep purple, deepen to almost black purple as the summer wears on, and finally come fall they'll turn a reddish orange.

Veseys supplies many types of perennials, trees, shrubs, vines and even fruits and berry plants along with our multitudes of flower and vegetable seed and hardgood items.  We have you covered no matter what your project will be this year.  You can check out our handy YouTube video on how to plant each individual plant as well as our online growing guide.

There are so many new varieties again this year that could all be my favourite picks, no matter what one you choose, I'm sure you will be very happy as you watch it grow. I have posted a few others below that would look stunning in any garden right from early spring to fall.
Windflower Mix-Early Spring
Beyond Perfection Hardy Orchid Blend- Early Spring
Winky Blue Columbine-Mid Spring

Sugar Candy Clematis Vine-Late Spring and Late Fall

Pictured above are a few ideas for your spring colour, and as I mentioned there are many selections to choose from for early summer all the way up to late fall.  You will find a few beautiful plants shown below. Many gardeners love to achieve a garden that will provide colour right from start to finish once spring bulbs have faded.

Sparkling Stars Astrantia-Early to Late summer
Let's Dance Diva Hydrangea-Early to Late summer

Mandarin Double Coneflower-Mid Summer to Early fall
As you can see, we have a wide assortment of beautiful, healthy plants that are ready to find a new home and give your yard colour all season long!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Before the attack...


     All plants have a defense system against any type of disease, however, they can also be easily stressed by disease/insect pests and may not be able to withstand unfavorable environmental conditions if its health is not optimal. 

       Abiotic factors in an environment include such factors such as sunlight, temperature, wind patterns, and precipitation. Sometimes all it takes for a plant to regain its health is to move it to a different location or even "top it up" with some extra fertilitizer . I have always found that plants are more resilient than we think, so we shouldn't jump to conclusions that there is a pest problem.

     When initiating a successful  control measure plan for any plant and/or pest issue, proper plant identification needs to be first established. This will help with factoring what type of disease or insect pest could be effecting your plant/plants or possible effects from the environment. The life-cycle each pest should be considered. Regular monitoring routines are also important to successful control. Monitoring should be documented when carried-out and this data will be helpful for years to come where plants and pests will be experienced with from year to year.  This will give you a plan that you can expect to factor in before a growing season even begins. 

     Keeping consistent records of your observations can help develop a more successful IPM (Integrated Pest Management) as well as enable you to identify other possible issues as well. 

       Close attention to how weather affects plants is also useful data to collect. This will also help you to determine how much damage a plant can resist without treatment.

      Determining information of pest’s life cycle, and monitoring their presence is most important.  Regular monitoring will allow you to ensure that the best approach and informed decisions are made.

     Why bother using treatment with a chemical if issues are not going to result with further damage, this would be considered a waste of time, money and unnecessary exposure of chemicals to the environment. 
      In my own experience as a professional, I have made numerous decisions on various plants whether being a tree, shrub, vegetable or perennial flower and not always an ideal decision. In some cases I have jumped to conclusion much too quickly.  All issues with plants need time to be studied and to collect data. When we define monitoring, we don't just refer to looking at a plant, but getting down to examine the root system where plant growth begins. Taking daily strolls through your garden is beneficial for monitoring, besides we grow our gardens to walk through and enjoy. Weekly walks through your garden is recommended even during dormant times, the earlier the detection, the better. 

     Collectively plants and pests need a certain amount of these factors when going through stages. These temperature data days are referred to as GDD, growing degree days as some professionals make numerous references to. To come to these values, use a formula that calculates the maximum and minimum temperatures over a period of 24 hours.  This number is calculated further with the base temperature which is most often 10 degrees C. Add maximum and minimum temperatures, then divide that figure in half, then the base temperature is subtracted from that value, which will provide you with a final number value known as a growing degree day. Sound complicated?...It really isn't...! 
Please see formula for calculation of this data below:

Temperature(Max)+Temperature(Min)/2= __ - 10(TBase)= 
This would equal 8 as the growing degree day

*This process is in conjunction with all other research and not meant to be the only way of determining control.
     When monitoring, use information such as date(time/day/year), location, plant, pest(disease/insect), effect on hosts, signs and symptoms, number of pests present, how many GDD have been calculated plus if there was or wasn't need for an action threshold to be crossed. Monitoring times will stretch out in between visits as pest life cycles comes to completion.
   Calendar dates can be used to determine when a control is issued, however as I mentioned, growing degree days each year, when calculated properly, will be more accurate. We also attribute combinations of temperature, weather and plant Phenology-(recurring seasonal plant life cycle stages such as leaf development, setting blossoms and fruit development) as part of the make up for the growing degree days to help with our IPM.


     The value of this process that I have gained, during course of time, will help in many ways whether it will be put to practice in my own yard, on a professional basis as well as a way of sharing an improved management of pests with fellow gardeners as well as advice to clients.