Burnett: Late summer weather great for gardens, gardeners alike

Here in the Okanagan we are entering one of the best gardening seasons of the year.

Don BurnettWell, here we are at the end of August and if we were living in some other parts of Canada, we may have experienced our first frost and—heaven forbid—sprinkling of snow by now.

But here in the Okanagan we are entering one of the best gardening seasons of the year.

September and October can be very productive and enjoyable when the cooler weather offers relief to the stressed out annuals both in the garden beds and in containers.

In fact, when many of you may be thinking that tired hanging basket has had the bun, try snipping it back a little and putting it on a regimen of 20-20-20 every second watering and watch it thrive well into November.

Not only do the plants appreciate the cooler weather but we humans do as well, as it makes working in the garden much more pleasant.

Activities such as digging out the crab grass now visible in the lawns and lightly pruning back roses, which by the way will often come on with some late season colour right into the frosty weather, don’t seem to be as grinding as they are when the heat of summer is on.

This time of year keep an eye open at the garden centres for shipments of fall bulbs to arrive.

Last fall I spent about $50 on a selection of tulips crocus and narcissus which gave me so much pleasure this past spring.

That $50 expenditure will keep giving me dividends for years to come.

This is a perfect time of year to do some dividing of perennial plants such as rudbeckia, salvia, iris, and peonies.

You can also divide ornamental grasses at this time of year, but I prefer to leave most types until early spring.

Why not enjoy them as they turn to earth tones into the fall and most of them even look nice when dusted with some snow.

The garden shops are now stocking up on various colourful perennials such as garden mums, fall asters and fall sedum.

You can get a double whammy out of these by plunking them into your tubs and baskets that are not looking so good and then planting them out in the perennial bed after they are done. For most this can be done in early winter or you can wait until spring arrives.

September is a great time to plant lawn seed if there are some areas which need some re-generation; in particular after you have done some crab grass removal.

•••

I want to give an early heads-up to people interested in taking our bus trip to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in February.

We have a new tour provider this year and it is Sun Fun Tours. (Kelowna office number is 250-763-6133.)

If you haven’t been on this trip I highly recommend it as a great way to get a jump on the spring gardening season. If you have come along before then I think you know what I mean and I suggest to you it may be time to take this great trip again.

Every year the show has a specific theme. This year it’s A Celebration of Food, embracing trends in organic and urban gardening, sustainability, and variety of culinary experiences, including outdoor dining.

Just Posted

Three UBC Okanagan students awarded women in tech scholarships

Computer science and math students hope the award will inspire others

Missing Kelowna woman, Cassy Miller found dead

Miller went missing Nov. 6 and was found 10 days later

Rockets break four game losing streak in Edmonton

The Rockets defeated the Oil Kings 3-1

Okanagan Floral Design students create elaborate Christmas arrangements

The students are making the floral arrangements as part of the Homes for the Holidays tour

Reduce, reuse, recycle: Repair cafes gaining popularity in Kelowna

The Regional District of the Central Okanagan’s cafe was held at Okanagan College Saturday

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

South region forestry workers nearly in legal strike position

Talks broke down between USW and IFLRA, resulting in booking out of provincial mediator

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Most Read