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Growing Plants Near Black Walnuts

Friday June 29, 2018


    One of the gardener's biggest bugaboos is trying to grow plants in the shadow of the black walnut tree. If they could, many plants would rather pull up their roots and hightail it out of town than face the wrath of the black walnut!   
    The nasty chemical in question is commonly known as juglone and while it has been isolated from most parts of the walnut tree, it seems that the toxic effects of juglone only occur when the roots of susceptible plants make contact with the roots of walnuts.
      There are a few things that affect the level of toxicity of black walnuts.  First it seems that the effect is greater in poorly drained soils and that in this case, direct contact of one root to another may not be necessary for the toxic effect to occur.  It also seems that younger walnuts do not cause toxicity problems - the problem seems to start when the walnuts are seven to eight years old. Finally, removal of the walnut tree will not stop the problem right away.  Apparently, the roots must break down completely before all of the juglone they  contain will disappear and the risk of toxicity passes - a process that can take several years!
    What are the symptoms of walnut toxicity?  The plant leader(s) will turn down and look wilted.  This will be followed by a wilting affecting most or all of the plant. The wilting itself often occurs very rapidly and is in effect, a one way street.  Even though this wilting can be quite rapid, it doesn't mean that every plant that is susceptible will die right away.  In many cases, plants will grow for a year or more before any damage becomes visible. Those plants that show some tolerance to juglone will often be stunted, weak and have little or no flower.  It seems that juglone causes excessive cell growth in the xylem vessels of susceptible plants (the xylem vessels are the transport systems for water and nutrient within the plant).  As these growths multiply, they block the xylem which in turn stops water movement and in severe cases leads to the wilting of the plant.
    While gardening around a black walnut is a challenge, all is not lost.  Removal of the tree is an option, but it is not a very good one as these stately trees are quite beautiful in their own right (also, you will still have the lingering problem with the roots).  Since the highest concentration of roots occur out at the dripline of the tree and the roots closer to the trunk are often deeper and far less numerous, you can try planting shallow rooted plants closer to the trunk of the tree.  Raised beds are also an option when planting in the shadow of a walnut.  However, I wouldn't suggest bringing in a load of topsoil with the thought of raising the grade all the way around the tree.  Changing the grade in such a manner can sometimes have adverse effects on the tree itself. 
    The most obvious option is to grow plants that are seemingly tolerant to black walnut.  Of this known listing (OMAF and Rural Affairs has a publication with a list of plants showing resistance to walnut induced toxicity), a great many plants are either native ones or are ones that occur naturally in woodlands.  A few examples, trillium, anemone, meadow-rue, primroses, jack-in-the-pulpit, periwinkle, may apple, Solomon's seal, dog tooth violet, ostrich fern and the Christmas fern.  A few ornamentals - honeysuckles, mockorange, forsythia, burningbush, lilac, hostas, lilies and the viburnums. I am sure there are far more....

 


Posted by:
Randy McNamee at 9:41 AM

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Seed Starting Supplies

Saturday April 21, 2018


Seed Starting Supplies

There are many reasons for starting seeds indoors: to grow   varieties that are rare or expensive to buy; to get a head start on the season – this is especially important when dealing with long season plants; its great therapy for beating the winter blahs; it’s an economical way of producing large numbers of plants; children are easily encouraged to get involved and most of all, its great fun.


To assist you in getting organized, here’s a list of supplies that will help you get great results from your indoor gardening efforts.


Containers ranging from seed starting inserts to individual 10cm (4”) pots for larger plants such as geraniums.  Plantable fibre pots and strips and Jiffy 7 compressed peat pellets are great for growing plants that don’t transplant well. Waterproof plastic trays (known as 1020’s) hold inserts and pots and act as a water reservoir. Clear plastic humidity domes are useful for keeping the growing medium moist and the humidity up around seeds and tender seedlings.


Soil-less Seed Starting Mix.  They drain well and help prevent the establishment of both seed and seedling destroying diseases. Perlite, vermiculite and peatmoss for those gardeners who like to make their own soil-less mix.  Sterilized potting soil for growing-on long term seedlings such as geraniums and peppers.

Misting Bottle.  A must have! It’s great for gently watering the growing medium – especially useful when working with tiny seeds.
Heating Mat.  A useful addition for starting seeds of those plants that need a growing medium temperature higher than the ambient air temperature of your growing area.


Light. It’s very straight forward – either you will have enough or you won’t. Where south facing windows are unavailable, to supplement what natural sunlight you do receive or to increase the amount of indoor growing you can do, artificial light is the answer.
Light Garden. The answer to cramming a ton of growing into a small space - and you can do this anywhere in your home!
Rooting Hormone. Helps to increase the speed that cuttings root which can ultimately help to increase your success rate.


Water Soluble Fertilizer- Root building formulations such as 15-30-15 or 10-52-10 are ideal for helping to develop solid seedlings.
Labels. Using them is the best way to keep track of what you have and where it is. White plastic or wood labels with a grease pencil or Jiffy marker are an ideal combination. Keeping a record book is quite handy for jogging the memory for what did work, what didn’t, which plants were started when etc…
Oh yes, and the ultimate, a greenhouse complete with heater, growing shelves, supplemental lighting, plumbing and automated vents!


Posted by:
Randy McNamee at 3:31 PM

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New Vegetable Starter Kit

Thursday April 12, 2018


NEW for 2018:

7 Easy-To-Grow varieties all in one handy starter kit

 

 

 

 

These seven easy to grow vegetables are ideal for the beginner as well as for those experienced gardeners where growing space is at a premium.

 


 

Kit contains: Early Wonder Beet, Slenderette Green Bean, Chantenay Carrot, Marketmore Cucumber, Grand Rapids Lettuce, Homesteader Peas and Scarlet Globe Radish.

 


 

These varieties can all be grown together quite nicely in a 3m x 3m (10' x 10') garden plot.....and as a bonus, you can still leave yourself enough extra seed for a second crop.

 

You also save 25% with this collection by bundling these seven packets together!

 


 

Click here to view this product.

 


Posted by:
Ben Hutchinson at 12:30 PM

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Voles in the Lawn and Garden

Thursday April 12, 2018



Posted by:
Richard Goetze at 12:15 PM

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New for 2018

Monday December 4, 2017


New Seeds 2018


Posted by:
Richard Goetze at 3:36 PM

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Bloggers


Name: Randy McNamee
Posts: 2
Last Post: June 29, 2018

Name: Ben Hutchinson
Posts: 1
Last Post: April 12, 2018

Name: Richard Goetze
Posts: 2
Last Post: April 12, 2018

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