Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What to look forward to in 2014

Have you missed us? We apologize for the delay in our blog posts, but we are back and excited for what 2014 will bring!

First from all the staff at West Coast Gardens we want to wish everyone a late Happy New Year. Even with the cold bout of weather we have been getting, it has been so encouraging to see the small signs of spring slowly popping up.  We are working in full force here in preparation for the anticipated spring season!  For the first post of the new year I thought I would share with you what  new and exciting things you will have to look forward to in 2014 at West Coast Gardens and a few tips from our garden centre manager!

We have some really exciting and new home and garden décor coming in this year.  Be sure to start dreaming up your spring and summer garden and come check us out.  Also keep your eyes peeled for our  large clearance section right now, filled with a variety of goodies from last years stock. Check out these photos to get a feel!

Our Staff has been hard at work as we are in the process of planting our famous premium moss baskets and other bedding plants for this spring.  This is always a busy and exciting time for us, but it is encouraging as we can see everything falling into place.  Don't forget you can pre-order our  premium moss baskets now. Check out this link if you are interested for more information:

We have some great events currently being planned.  These will take place between now and July, and will be released shortly.  Be sure to stay tuned for those!  One in particular to look forward to in the next couple of weeks is:

Here is a quick little snip it about Brian:

Brian Minter began sharing his passion for plants with British Columbia's gardners when, in 1970, he and his wife purchased Country Garden Store, a garden shop that had been part of Chilliwack's community since 1957. In 1977, the Minters discovered a piece of land nestled beneath Mt. Cheam and by 1980, that passion for plants was transformed into 32-acre, world-famous Minter Gardens. Brian quickly became BC's go-to garden expert through his experience at both the garden centre and the display gardens. (Minter Gardens Website)

We are extremely excited that Brian is able to join us.  Be sure to get your tickets quick as there is limited seating available!

Over the Christmas break, our staff has been busy at work reorganizing retail.  You might not even recognize it!  We are excited to try out our new layout in the upcoming months.  

And to get you all excited for your spring garden here are a few ideas from our garden centre manager, Jason Vandermey:

Did you know that Calibrachoa are becoming the #1 annual chosen by gardeners
around the world?  It is true.  In Europe there are greenhouses that are
producing Calibrachoas by the millions to satisfy the need of this versatile
annual.  Why are they so special?  Firstly, they are very colourful.  They
flower in low light and short days.  They work in the garden, in containers
and most of all in hanging baskets and window boxes.  If you ask me what is
the one thing to remember when growing Calibrachoa is to constantly give
them fertilizer.  It is so important.  Calibrachoas are always hungry for
more nutrient to produce huge amounts of flowers.  It also helps with better
branching which leads to even more flowers!  A small price to pay for lots
of flowers!!!

So which fertilizer to use?  My recommendation is to find a water soluble
fertilizer that is specifically for annuals and high blooming plants.
Something like a 15-30-15 that is available by miracle grow.  Or a Garden
Pro Superbloom 10-40-25. The numbers might be confusing, but the most
important thing to look at is that the middle number is high and the first
and last number are at least close to half or higher than that of the middle
number.  Here is an easy way to learn what the numbers are mean. The first
number is for the green foliage.  I prefer that the first number is not too
high so that the basket does not get too wild looking.  Somewhere between 10
and 15.  The second number is for flower.  Annuals that have lots of flowers
really appreciated the middle number being high.  This number helps you have
vibrant, larger and more flower.  The last number is for roots and stress.
Annuals can be attacked by all kinds of variables.  From fungus, to pests to
root rot.  This number should be at least half of the middle number. 
How much fertilizer should I use?  Well that brings me back to the fact that
these plants are hungry.  So I recommend watering with a water soluble
fertilizer at half of the recommendation on the label every time you water.
Or at full strength two to three times out of 6.  When you water with
fertilizer, please make sure you water right through the basket or planter
to ensure that you are flushing out the old fertiliser and replacing with
new.  So I like to see at least 10-20% water come out the bottom of the
basket.  As your plants get larger and fill the soil with more roots, you
may need to water more and more often.  Keep in mind that when soil gets too
dry it becomes hydrophobic.  Hydrophobic soil repels water and takes a long
time to re-hydrate.  So check that your basket is well watered by the weight
and check your planters by moving the soil around with your fingers.  If you
feel that the soil is really dry, water without fertilizer first.  When the
soil is hydrated, then water again with fertilizer. 

1. Check to make sure your plants are healthy, free from pests and
2. Right plant for the right place.  Check the plant label to see what light
levels the plant needs.  Full sun plants require at least 6 hours of direct
sun for best results.  Shade plants require lots of light but no direct sun.
Keep those in mind.
3. Soil requirements - use a peat based soil that is free draining.  Some
additives to help with holding moisture is perlite and coir.
4. Fertiliser - always feed your plants.  Just like you and me, we need food
to keep going.  So do your plants.  And some plants are pigs for food.  
5. Temperature.  Some of us like to get an early start helping spring come
along with putting annuals out.  But sometimes it can be too early.  Wait
until the night time temperature is around 10c consistently.  
6. When to water.  It is always best to water in the morning.  And if needed
in the afternoon.  But try not to water in the evening.  Plants do not like
soaking wet roots at night.  How would you like to go to bed with wet feet?

During the warm or hot days of summer, think of your annuals and plants in
general.  If you feel hot and thirsty, so do your plants.  A good reminder
to check if they need water.  On those days where it is cool and raining,
try not to water your plants unless needed.  Plants that are in cool weather
do not require as much moisture as on warmer days and might take longer to
dry down. 


Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next post.  We look forward to seeing you soon in store!

-West Coast Gardens