Dear <<First Name>>,
With a friend, I enjoyed a week on the Garden Island of Kauai, a place of stunning views – red earth canyons with lush vegetation in all shades of green against the deep turquoise sea. Rain is a fairly regular companion (along with lots of wild chickens or "Moa"), so we did a lot of hiking. It was great to limber up and start to build up strength for the digging and planting season. Check out the tips below to get ready for spring!
Tuesday, March 14 - Container Food Growing Workshop
Register now for this informative workshop and chance to ask questions for growing food on your balcony, patio or deck. We’ll also discuss what to grow and when to start your seeds.
Time and Location: 7-9 pm, St. Augustine's Anglican Church, 6110 Fulton Rd, Edmonton
More Info and Registration
Urban Food Growing Workshops at St. Augustine Church and Sunshine Community Garden
Register for one or several classes. Discount for multiple classes More Info
March 14: Container Food Growing
April 11: Preparing Your Garden – Soil and Seeds
May 2: Extending the Season for Longer Harvest
May 16: Transplanting and Garden Care
June 1: Garden Companions, Bugs and Weeds
Exercises for Gardeners
Back strain, painful shoulders and tendonitis in the forearms can be a real challenge for northern gardeners. Winter is long and when spring arrives quite suddenly, we tend to overdo it with digging, weeding and planting. Walking in the river valley and taking lots of stairs can help, but when we’re stuck indoors, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes on strength building and stretching every couple of days.
Here are very short videos with simple exercises and tips:
Improve Reaching Ability in 1 minute with this Back Strength and Flexibility Exercise
- Warm Ups
- Stretching and Strengthening
- Tips for Good Body Mechanics
- Tips for Protecting Knees and Back (among others…using your fitness ball for weeding???)
4 More Exercises
1. One arm rows with Swiss Ball
2. Rear delt raises w/ resistance band
3. Lumbar extension (can be performed on all fours also)
4. Body weight squats
Bird Watching and Workshop for Young Ornithologists
Alberta has a stunning diversity of birds that enrich our lives. Birds clean up pest insects, disperse seeds, fertilize our plants and are part of the food chain for other wildlife. Birds also signal the arrival of spring and delight us with their song. Chickadees are already checking out potential nesting sites, and I’m hearing one sing outside right now. Consider adding a chickadee nest box to your yard this year. I often observe these cheerful birds going after bugs in my yard.
You can get excellent advice and supplies at Wildbird General Store or Wild Birds Unlimited. Be sure to purchase a box that has a small hole that excludes House Sparrows because these invaders will take over and eat your prized veggie seedlings.
Spring migration will start in April and it’s always a thrill to hear the Sandhill Cranes and Canada Geese travel north while I’m in the garden. A great source of knowledge and field trips to learn more about our birds is the Edmonton Nature Club.
If you know of any 15-18 year old teens that have shown an interest in birds, you can refer them to the Beaverhills Bird Observatory for a free summer workshop.
Potato Tower Gardens
Do you want to save space and grow potatoes in a tower? There are mixed results; some people have success while others are disappointed with the poor harvest. I have only tried it in a wire cage with extra compost and got a few bonus potatoes with minimal effort. For a more serious effort, check out the information provided by Eagle Creek Farms, a local seed potato farm. A very important factor is the type of potato you use. Early season varieties do not work well, so you must choose a later season potato or fingerling type. The soil should be a mix of potting mix, garden soil and compost, to make sure the growing medium is not too heavy, holds some moisture and contains lots of nutrients and microbes. Find more info from Eagle Creek Farms here.
Events and Presentations
Seedy Saturday in Stony Plain - March 11
Grow a Self-Watering Bucket Garden - March 11 at 12:30pm
Check out the other speakers as well.
Seedy Sunday Edmonton - March 19
You can purchase vegetable, herb and some flower seeds at the upcoming Seedy Sunday on March 19 at the Central Lions Seniors Recreation Centre, 11113-113 Street from 11 am to 4 pm. I will be there with a table – please come say hello!
Free Tickets to the Edmonton Home and Garden Show
I will have a limited number of tickets to give away. Please email to reserve in advance and pick them up at Seedy Sunday on March 19 or I will leave them in an envelope at the ticket office at Northlands.
Edmonton Home and Garden Show March 23-26, at Northlands
Claudia's Presentation: Ideas for an Edible Front Yard - Thursday March 23 at 3:00 pm and Saturday March 25 at 2:00 pm
Garden Stage Schedule
Intro to Permaculture - Monday, March 27 at 7:30 pm
Central Lions Seniors Recreation Centre, 11113 – 113 Street
Urban landscapes can be functional ecosystems that contribute to our health and prosperity. Permaculture offers concepts and practices to turn low-diversity, degraded landscapes and monoculture lawns into places that produce food and habitat for beneficial insects and wildlife. Claudia will present a (very!) brief overview of Permaculture, a design method that encourages us to build fertility and abundance.
Edmonton Horticultural Society
All the best in anticipation of Spring,
Claudia Bolli, Wild Green Garden Consulting, www.wildgreen.ca
If you would like help with your plans, please contact me for a consultation or design, firstname.lastname@example.org.