Essential Garden Items For Planting Season
It’s planting time! The May long weekend has long served as the official starting line of the summer gardening season. Across the province, gardeners both veteran and novice will dig in and start planting. When you hit the garden centre for loads of flowering annuals and veggies, make sure to also account for the tools and essential care items you need for a successful season. Here are our top picks for must-have essential garden items for planting time.
Soils & Mulches
If you’re new to the gardening scene, that huge row of bagged soils, manures and mulches can be intimidating. What to use? Where? Why?
When you’re starting a new garden or beginning a fresh planting into a garden space, plants can benefit from a boost to get the best start. Adding fresh, nutrient rich soil to gardens can improve the texture and fertility of the garden. This help plants to get established faster!
Garden Soil is best for in-ground gardens and for topdressing or patch repair in lawns. It contains a blend of nutrient-rich humus, peat moss and sand.
Triple Mix is a garden soil with EXTRAS! It had added peat moss, manure, and organic matter to give it a charge of a wider range of nutrients, and can improve soil texture by enhancing water retention in sandy soils. Use triple mix anywhere – in gardens and lawns, when planting new trees or shrubs, or as an additive in containers and raised beds.
Container Soil is a potting mix. It’s a blend of peat, compost, perlite and lime. Use container soil for planters, baskets, window boxes… any container! It can also be used in raised garden beds, therefore allowing for superior drainage.
Mulches are so helpful in the garden! A layer of mulch helps to keep plant roots a bit cooler in the heat of summer, and maintains soil moisture longer between waterings. By covering the open spaces of soil surface, it also helps to reduce the weeding required in gardens. Use mulch for borders, on container surfaces, and for pathways and walkways.
Tools For Planting
There’s hardly a limit to the tools available for maintaining a garden. In planting season, there are a handful of specialty essential garden items that help to make the job a little easier. The ones we couldn’t be without are:
- A Hand Transplanter for planting annuals, veggies, and digging into containers.
- A Shovel for digging larger holes for trees, shrubs, and perennials, or creating or expanding garden beds,
- A Serrated Trowel for digging tough weeds, and works as a planting trowel too!
- A Garden Fork for breaking up compacted garden beds, for lifting and transplanting perennials and for mixing in soil amendments.
Food For Plants
Good nutrition is the key to growing success, and to healthy, thriving plants. Plant food is available in a wide range of formulations, and in various forms. “Water Soluble” plant foods are mixed with water and applied for an instant delivery of nutrition. “Slow Release” plant foods are pelleted or granulated, and sprinkled on or mixed with soil to deliver nutrients slowly over time, lasting 4-6 weeks. Here are our favourite foods for common garden areas:
In general garden areas like borders and shrub and perennial beds, a simple slow-release option is Miracle Gro Shake N Feed All Purpose. It’s as easy to use as it sounds… open the top, shake onto garden beds, and it feeds plants for 6-8 weeks. Food is slowly released each time the bed is watered. This all purpose fertilizer contains kelp, earthworm castings, feather meal, and bone meal.
To keep planters and hanging baskets blooming and fresh, it’s important to feed them regularly. In such a small amount of soil, plants need constant water and food. This makes a water-soluble fertilizer an ideal choice. To keep producing flowers all summer, a blooming plant formula is best, so we recommend Miracle Gro Bloom Booster. By adding a scoop into the watering can 1-2 times per week, you encourage more blooms, and it’s easy to apply… just water it in!
Special Food Formulations
In vegetable and herb gardens, many gardeners prefer organic options. Acti Soil Tomatoes & Vegetables Organic Fertilizer is a 100% natural fertilizer. It’s made of hen manure, bone meal and natural potash. This fertilizer is rich in calcium and perfect for tomatoes, cucumbers and all demanding vegetables. It’s also easy to apply in a pellet form. Sprinkle onto the soil, and it breaks down slowly, released with water. Growing fruits is hard work, so plants need the support of good nutrition applied every 4-6 weeks throughout the growing season.
When moving, replanting, or transplanting, you need a transplant food. Miracle-Gro Quick Start is specially formulated to help stimulate root growth, to help reduce transplant shock and root stress. It’s a liquid Transplant Solution, so it’s added to water and applied after planting. Young vegetable seedlings and vulnerable plants and flowers get the nutrients they need for strong, healthy roots. This means plants can get established and begin to grow bigger more quickly! Use Quick Start when you water new plantings for 10-14 days.
Other Helpful Accessories
Don’t forget the other essential garden items!
Gloves for protecting your hands, hooks and brackets for baskets and bird feeders, pots and planters, and watering accessories are all items to keep at hand. More than anything, remember to stop and smell the flowers… summer is fleeting, so let’s enjoy it!