Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Open Forum

This Post is designed to give visitors a space to ask any Gardening Question. Readers can then give answers or help on that question.We have many knowlegeable members in the club and this Forum is also open to the general pubic, which certainly includes Master Gardeners. It might take a time for them to find us but I will try to keep this post prominent.


  1. Example: Is a Tomato a Fruit or Vegetable?

  2. "Is a Tomato a Fruit or a Vegetable?"

    Answer: A Fruit ("Vegetable" is not a Botanical term, "Fruit" is - and is correct...A fruit is a fertilized ovary usually contaning seeds)

  3. Thanks for setting this up Dave. I look forward to using it for all my gardening questions. Marie

  4. I'm looking for some suggestions of plants (and/or a planting plan) that:
    1. grow well in Squamish (Brackendale)
    2. sun to full sun exposure (West/South-West)
    3. that have year round interest.
    I'll be putting in a new bed along the walkway to my front door this spring. The bed will be approx. 22' long x 12' wide. It will connect to a large Magnolia bush (12' high x 14' across) beside the driveway. Despite the large size of the Magnolia, I don't want the rest of the planting to be too high because it will block the house (bungalow).
    I'm hoping to have a mix of perennials and evergreen shrubs. Also hoping to have a yellow & purple colour scheme.
    Any suggestions?

  5. To Jane (Re. Planting plan)....Here are a few suggestions (All grow well here):

    -Clumps of Early Spring Bulbs: Snow drops, Crocus, Grape hyacinths, A few tulip clumps etc),

    - Perennials: Winter Pansies ,Corydalis lutea (yellow), Iris (Purple, yellow, white),Peonies, Anemones, Heuchera americana "plume Pudding"(purple foliage), Hardy Fuschias, Echinacea, Asters for late summer,

    - Shrubs: Box (gren and variegated), Euonymous fortunei (Upright and Creeping variegated), Bearberry, Variegated Berberis(has purple colour), Spirea (mid summer flowring)
    Dwarf Weigelia (purple leaves..June)
    -Sun/shade: Hellibores for early Spring (yellow and Purple...flowers last a long time)

    (Spring bulb foliage will die off as other perennials come on. Use variegated shrubs as your anchors and augment with a few annuals to suit. Soak anemones well before planting).

  6. To Jane P. Here is a site you might find useful for Evergreen Shrubs:


  7. Does anyone know if a zinc plate affixed around my raised beds will work as well as a copper plate to repel slugs and snails? Forums seem to say it might...has anyone tried it?

  8. What Can I Do To Control Slugs?
    Look for and destroy slugs when they are actively feeding at dawn or dusk or in wet weather.
    Lure slugs to hiding places under boards, pieces of plastic, even grapefruit halves laid on gthe soil. Check underneath during the day and kill any slugs hiding there.
    Repel slugs with metal barriers. Slugs avoid copper and zinc so you can use strips of these metals around planters, greenhouse benches and trunks of shrubs to repel them. Copper tapes or strips for slug barriers are sold at some garden centres.
    Gritty materials, such as sawdust, crushed eggshells, wood ashes, lime or diatomaceous earth, when spread around plants can repel slugs as long as the materials stay dry. They don’t work well in wet weather or where there are a lot of slugs.
    Attract slugs to fermenting liquids where they drown. Some people use beer, but you can get the same effect with a mixture of water, yeast and a little sugar.
    Use a commercial slug trap or make your own from a plastic cottage cheese container with a lid. Cut a couple of access holes in the sides of the container and bury it in the soil so that the bottom edges of the holes are at the soil surface. Pour the beer or the yeast mix into the container. Containers should be covered or set with the lip at least two centimetres above the soil level to avoid catching ground beetles, which are valuable slug predators.
    Sprinkle low-toxicity commercial slug bait around plants. The bait contains iron compounds (the product label lists ferric phosphate) and is available from garden centres. When slugs eat iron it interferes with their ability to make slime and they die. Spread small amounts of bait around plants and renew after rain.  

  9. In the early morning and early evening, Mark goes on a slug hunt. During prime "slugging" season, he can chop over 200 of them in half with his shovel. The act of bisecting the slugs pushes them into the ground, and they are food for the plants they were so intent on eating to the ground!

  10. Hey there,
    I am new to squamish and am searching to find out if there is a program set up in squamish where people with land who don't use it willing to let people come plant on their land?? Thank you -kyla

  11. Hi! two questions: What is the zone in Squamish? 2nd: I have a very hot, dry garden bed all along the side of my house that I have tried unsucessfully planting with all sorts of beautiful flowering perennials. I finally realise that I might be better off with simple succulents/sedums and grasses-since it is so hot and also windy along there. Any other suggestions for good Squamish perennials that like hot windy spots?

    1. 6 - 7 depending on elevation. Official info is 7 but we sometimes get windy prolonged cold snaps so beware if your plants are borderline tender.

      Try planting drought resistant "shield" plants to stop the drying process behind. Enrich your soil with high organic top dressing to help conserve water. Be vigilant regarding your watering schedule....hope this helps.

    2. Geraniums do well in hotter, drier areas also mesumbrianthemums (ice plants ) are very colourful. There are many attractive ornimental variagated grasses, also lavender is good in dry areas.Try Californian poppies...they self seed forever!....Mix it up!

  12. Hi there,

    I just moved into Valleycliffe last fall. We have a section of garden in front of our house that is shady most of the day (it will get later afternoon/evening sun during the summer, but is almost completely shaded right now. It is also super dry soil as it is fairly covered by the eaves. There is almost nothing growing it in right now.

    I'm keen to plant the space with plants that are 2' or lower so they don't block light in the basement window, and there is space for a couple of larger plants to the sides of the window. Any ideas of either ornamental or edible plants that like dry shady sites?

  13. There are many varieties of Hosta. The larger quilted ones are very attractive and show a good diversity in hues. Of course hellebores are shade tolerant but will take summer sun too. There are many attractive ferns which can take both shade and sun. For the dry soil...mulch well and perhaps install a drip feed kit to save you some watering if you are away.
    Enrich your soil with organic matter to help moisture retention....sea soil, compost etc. .Lily of the Valley are good shade tolerant spring bulbs and will thrive with little attention. Other ideas trillium, bluebells, violets (yellow and blue) etc.

    1. Jen,
      If you have an area covered by eaves, it will be difficult to grow anything. You might want to put a ground cover such as river stone in the area under the eaves and then plant the shade loving plants such as hosta which is an excellent suggestion in front. The planst will grow up and the leaves will branch out over the reiver rock but the plants will be out where they can get some water. Another coulpe of good suggestions are Japenese Spurge and Siberian bugloss "Jack Frost"

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