Rain, snow, ice pellets and leaden skies combined with teasing days of bright sunshine and warming temperatures might make you think T.S. Eliot had a Toronto spring for his inspiration.
With only tiny brave crocus and snowdrops to perk up the garden right now, here are some garden facts to brighten up this early spring weather.
Environment Canada tells us that we will have below-average precipitation during May, June and July this year. However the forecast accuracy rate is only 40%. So we will just have to wait and see how much rain we get.
The best water for gardens is rainwater. Unlike Toronto tap water, it has no chlorine, contains mineral nutrients and is free – good reasons to use a rain barrel. Collect the rain that falls on your roof to water the garden. 1mm of rain on 1 square metre of roof will yield 1 litre of water.
The Ontario governments Pesticide Ban comes into effect on April 22, 2009. Approximately 300 products such as lawn weed & feed fertilizers, fruit tree sprays, slug and earwig treatments, Malathion and Sevin will be removed from store shelves and will no longer be available. Fortunately, being an organic gardener, I do not work with any of these products so the ban will have no effect on your garden.
The federal government is now offering a Home Renovation Tax Credit of up to $1350 for home renovations, including landscaping during 2009. Details are available on-line at www.cra-arc.gc.ca. The installation of trees, shrubs, perennials, hard landscaping, garden beds or new sod qualifies for a 15% tax credit for work costing between $1000 and $10,000 on your 2009 tax return.
Weather permitting; I will be starting spring garden cleanups during the week of April 14. I will begin planting as soon as the soil warms up –hopefully 2 weeks later. It will be good to get back to work in your garden. Assisting me this year is Andrea McCoy, an enthusiastic and avid gardener. Please give me a call or send me an email if you have any questions or requests.
See you soon in the garden,