News from the Kimberley Garden Club

Submitted by Marilee Quist

At our March 19th meeting, we had very timely speaker, Caleb Willems, from East Kootenay Outdoor Specialists in to speak about drip irrigation and the various types of hoses and lines to use and how to use them. Although we have had our in-ground irrigation system for a number of years, I have some drip lines I want to move and some new ones I want to add, so for me, Caleb’s presentation was very timely. In April, we have a speaker coming in to talk about garden bots. I did some quick checking online and discovered that a garden bot is a robot for the garden that plants, waters, fertilizes and weeds. If this is what our speaker is going to talk about, it should be very interesting! We also have a speaker scheduled to come in May from Fort Steele Farms to talk about how to enrich and enhance garden soil. This should also be interesting and helpful.

It seems that good soil in Kimberley depends on where you live and who has gardened (or not) before the current owner. Our solution when we moved into our Marysville house all those years ago, was to pull up the sod, dig out the rocks and rototill peat moss and sterilized and/or well-rotted manure into the beds we were making. The pulled sod was later used to make planting mounds. We turned it green side down and cut planting holes with a Japanese farmer’s knife. This worked really well – sort of organic recycling!

It seems like spring may finally be here. The snow on our property is disappearing fast and all the “presents” the deer left us over the winter are showing up. Time to rake the lawn and get rid of the dead grass and the “presents”. I have noticed that the deer have been helping themselves to the new growth on my Rose Campion – a fuzzy-leafed plant that they didn’t like last year. I have heard that the deer are also eating Barberry shrubs and ornamental grass – plants they haven’t liked before.

I have noticed little green spring flower leaves popping up, so it’s time to liberally spread blood meal over the shoots as well as re-dosing the Rose Campion and the iris leaves and perhaps the spreading juniper to encourage the deer to eat elsewhere. The blood meal seems to be working, as the deer have left the early dwarf iris and the crocus alone and they are happily blooming. It looks like some hyacinths have decided it’s time to pop up as well and I am seeing some little green shoots coming up from a few of my perennials. Hooray!

The Kimberley Garden Club meets the third Tuesday of the month from 7-9 pm in the Social Room at Garden View Village. Our annual dues are $10 and cover a family membership. Newcomers are welcome. For more information, contact Marilee at marileeq@shaw.ca or at 250-427-0527 and leave a message with your name and number if there is no answer.

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