Meet Mark Cullen

Canada's best known gardening personality, Mark Cullen believes that Canadians of all ages need to play more - preferably in the dirt. A best-selling author with over 400,000 books in print, Mark reaches over one million Canadians every week through various media outlets. He is Home Hardware's horticultural spokesperson and regularly contributes to various magazines, gardening shows and newsletters. With a familiar style that people can relate to, he delivers a message that is compelling, fun, informative and inspirational - all based on his organic approach to gardening. In his spare time Mark enjoys driving his Ford Model A - and of course he loves to garden.

It is not too late to plant

~ June 29, 2011

Although it may be the end of June, it is not too late to plant in the garden. You can still plant last minute annuals for colour, perennials, roses (I just planted 4 last night!), shrubs and trees. Unfortunately, it is too late to plant a vegetable garden as most varieties will not mature before cooler fall weather sets in. However there is a chance to sow some lettuce and other greens later in August for ‘fall greens’.

Plant early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the hottest part of the day. Also, keep plants in the shade until you are ready to use them.

This time of year is much warmer and drier than the typical planting months of April and May. New additions to the garden will require special attention. The most important of which is to water frequently. New plants have limited root systems and they will need constant watering until they get established, as often as twice a day during hot and dry weather.

Use quality soil, like Mark’s Choice flower and veggie soil (Home Hardware item# 5053-695) for best results.

Water in the morning to reduce the amount of moisture lost to evaporation. Water deeply to encourage deeper roots.

Along with watering frequently, add at least four inches (10cm) of mulch around new plantings to insulate the soil and conserve moisture. If planting trees, use a thicker layer of mulch around the base while keeping it away from the trunk.

The use of Plant Prod Ultimate Plant Starter 10-52-10 will help plants get established faster by stimulating rapid root growth. Do not be afraid to plant now as there is still a lot of time left in the growing season. Plus, as an added bonus, one benefit of planting late is that you can get most everything on sale at your local garden retailer which saves you money.