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.

Fall Planting

~ September 14, 2011

With fall just around the corner now is the time to squeeze in some late season gardening and plant any new additions you had your eye on. Take a trip to your local garden center and you will be surprised at what you can still find and at amazing sale prices. Planting at this time of year requires a couple of extra steps to ensure your plant survives the winter.
When planting, dig the hole to twice the diameter of the pot and to the same depth. Backfill with a mix of half the original soil that was dug out and half triple mix. Triple mix is an equal blend of peat, compost and sand and is an ideal soil mix for plants. After backfilling lightly compact the soil around the new plant to remove any air pockets.

Do not compact the soil too firmly as new roots will not be able to grow well.

Water the plant deeply at least two to three times a week. This is important as it will settle the soil and help reduce transplant shock. I recommend using CIL Plant Starter as it contains a special acid that will help the new plants put down roots quickly.

Do not be tempted to use a high nitrogen fertilizer on your plants as this will cause them to produce new top growth which will not be able to harden off before cold weather arrives.

As the soil is already warm your new plants should take quite well and be off to a great start next spring.

Although spring is the traditional planting season early fall works equally well. Get out to your local garden center, see what they have and start planting.