Gardener's Notebook - University site a great gardener resource

We’ve chatted about this great online gardening resource before: the University of Saskatchewan College of Agriculture and Bioresources- Gardening site at https://gardening.usask.ca. From here, we can navigate to different pages that include public workshops and events; information about the various campus gardens (such as the AgBio Rooftop Garden that actually supplies Culinary Services at the university; the community gardens; and the Patterson Garden Arboretum); and access to the Gardenline Online that offers a wide variety of information on topics like healthy soils, annuals and perennials, houseplants, and common plant diseases.  Closer to spring, we can also click on the “Public Workshops and Events” tab and find out details about workshops and plant sales at the university. Bookmark this site and be sure to visit for new and innovative information about horticulture!

Closer to home, meet and greet with other gardeners at the 9th Annual Seedy Saturday is coming up on Saturday February 23, 2019, 11 am to 4:30 pm at SIGN on Broadway (345 Broadway Street West). There is something for everyone including local seed vendors and info booths. If you would like to be a vendor at the event, call Stacey at (306) 641-4239.

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And if you are going to the library to get some gardening books to whet your gardening appetite, stop at the front desk and ask about the Seed Library at the Yorkton Public Library.

There will be a variety of seeds available for eager gardeners! This is a wonderful free program and a great way to try new seeds.  

Many gardeners have been starting plants from seeds for years. Why?  The question has several answers. A gardener can get a head-start with their favorite plants, or we might want to start some unusual varieties of plants not usually available in stores as bedding plants. Cost may be a factor, because a package of seeds can potentially yield dozens of plants.  Plus, growing our own plants brings great gardening satisfaction!

What to plant? For many gardeners, window space is limited, so we will want to choose our most-wanted plants to fill that space. When it is time to plant, we have to rein in our excitement and not do it too early, unless we are lucky enough to have a solarium, heated greenhouse or grow lights. If we hope to plant out our seedlings on the May long weekend, the long-time traditional planting weekend, we have to count backwards about six to eight weeks for our planting time.  That takes us to the end of March. Planting too much before this, without extra-light growing conditions, and our plants may get too spindly and not be the robust plants we want.

We should use a soil-less mix in a container with good drainage. It is a good idea to have the soil damp before we start planting (damp, not wet!). Check the seed package to see how deep the plant the seeds. Do not crowd them. Once they are planted, cover the containers with plastic to retain the moisture, and keep them in a warm location to aid germination. But in a few days, as soon as we see the first sprouts peeking out, uncover them and place them in a sunny location. 

From here on, they are our plant babies, and need continual attention to keep them moist, warm, and turned so that they get equal amounts of sun.

If you’ve never tried starting your own plants, make this the year! It’s interesting and inspiring to get us “in training” for the gardening season!

Visit the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society at www.yorktonhort.ca and have a great week!

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