Spring Greetings!

 

Although it may feel as though we are stuck enduring an extended cabin fever this year as we continue to social distance due to COVID-19, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the longer daylight hours gardening inside or (safely) outside our homes. If your thumb feels greener this spring, you are not alone. Many Canadians are rooting around their gardens for a welcome distraction or to sow the seeds for delicious fresh produce and food security. To encourage access to healthy & fresh food, we’re busy growing more herbs, fruits, and vegetables, expecting that they’ll be especially popular this year. Growing food can be a fun activity for the whole family – click here for some excellent local food-growing advice.

 

For over 40 years, the people of Orillia, Brechin and surrounding areas have supported our business by coming to us for our quality products and expert advice. While our doors remain closed to the public for now, production of plants remains essential and we have been busy preparing for another exciting season. In the meantime, we are pleased to announce online ordering for thousands of our Annuals, Vegetables, Perennials, Trees & Shrubs. We are offering curbside pickup & delivery Monday-Saturday 9 am to 5:30 pm and Sunday 10 am to 3pm. Shop online here: https://www.scottsgardencentre.com/Our-Plants or call 705-325-2909 and leave a message. We continue to add items to our brand new webstore, so if you can find what you are looking for, you can also email us at scottsgardencentre@rogers.com.  

 

We want to stay connected with you by offering regular updates starting with a list of Spring gardening tips and ideas for social distancing activities:

 

Indoor projects for you and your family

  • Pot up dahlias and watch them grow inside the house
  • For those families looking for quicker growth, you can try planting a fast-growing flower like a marigold, zinnia, or aster
  • Paint a clay pot to personalize each family member’s plant
  • Buy a spider plant and teach the kids to propagate (cut the spider that hangs and plant spiders to make more plants)
  • Start your own succulent gardens
  • You can make your own terrarium using a mason jar with little tropicals
  • Buy new tropical plants to clean the air and add cheerful scent and colour to your life, or repot any indoor tropicals you already have to freshen them up
  • Repot cell pack pansies (2 in a pack for $1.59) into their own pot to have in front of the window – inside or outside
  • You can also repot or keep geraniums or begonias inside on the windowsill until later in May when the frost warnings have ended
  • Start tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, brassicas (cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli); we have seed starting soil and kits!
  • You can also start herbs, lettuce, or kale from seed to make an herb planter or lettuce and kale bowl to keep close to the kitchen (we have $1.59 seedlings ready for you)
  • To start seeds out, you can use egg cartons or strawberry or fruit plastic clamshell containers (which act like mini greenhouses) for each kid to make their own kit
  • Have your kids research bee pollinators and plants (i.e. oregano) to attract bees and butterflies

 

Outdoor projects

  • Prepare your gardens for May; we have cow/sheep blend manure, lime, peat moss, and fertilizer to get you started
  • Uncover your roses and shrubs, prune dead wood, and add fertilizer
  • Rake out and remove salt from your lawn; add gypsum to neutralize salt and animal burn spot damage (gypsum is great for your garden too!)
  • Rake up pine needles from your lawn and add lime to overly acidic areas (but be careful not to add lime close to shrubs that prefer acidic conditions such as evergreens, holly, azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, and blueberries)
  • Aerate your lawn and top dress it by adding lime, seed, fertilizer (you can also look up the Fat Grass recipe)
  • Overseed your lawn yearly (even healthy lawns benefit from this as a preventative measure against weeds, leaving them with little opportunity to settle in)
  • For shady areas and under trees, add grass seed and a fine covering of soil and starter lawn fertilizer yearly (gives them a leg up against the lack of sun)
  • Another option is to order shade tolerant ground cover (like periwinkle/vinca minor) to grow under trees.
  • Plant hardy shrubs, trees, and perennials
  • Before buds break in April, apply Dormant Spray (mineral oil, lime Sulphur) to fruit trees and flowering crab and other shrubs and trees that had insect problems last year
  • Trim crossing branches on fruit trees for better air flow to reduce disease and insect damage (you can also put these branches in a vase of water and in a few weeks you should see flowers)
  • Plant hardy pansies and violas (even if it gets cold they’ll bounce back!)
  • Those beautiful blue flowers you see blooming on certain lawns right now are Scilla and Glory of the Snow/Scilla Chionodoxa; if you missed planting the bulbs in September/October, you can buy them potted from us now for $3.95-4.95/pot
  • Plant cold crop vegetables in your garden in April (these include onion bulbs, beets, radishes, carrots, turnips, asparagus root)
  • Plant rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, and grapes anytime
  • Research shrubs and trees to plant that attract birds – evergreens provide shelter and shrubs that develop fruit provide food for birds (i.e. viburnums, serviceberry, Saskatoon berry, and elderberry)
  • Plant white or red trilliums for woodland gardens or you can see them bloom in May naturally in the woods nearby
  • Research native plants to order from us or plant wildflower seeds in a sunny meadow

 

We will be opening our doors at a later date (keep checking our website or Facebook page) after we finish installing social distancing parameters and signage to ensure safety for our staff and our customers.  To keep a safe workspace and protected growing area, we will continue to follow the guidance of Health Canada and all levels of government.  We have implemented enhanced disinfection and cleaning procedures to make sure door handles, keypads, tools, and all other high-touch surfaces are sanitized regularly throughout each work day.  Regular hand washing is mandatory.  Our staff will protect themselves and others by staying home should they start feeling any symptoms. Our primary concern is the health and safety of our staff and customers.

 

Please contact us with any questions, suggestions or concerns, and please share and remember to shop local!

      

We look forward to seeing you from a safe distance soon,

 

Kevin, Pat, and Alex Scott