Now’s the time to start planning your garden for the new year! Zoryk’s manages your property in the growing months, but you want input on the types of plants you see flourishing in the yard. To help you choose the best plants for your garden you can order seed, bulb, and nursery catalogs. Take advantage of the Canadian seed and plant mail-order list of sources from the Old Farmers Almanac.
You’ve taken down the Christmas tree, but it can still be put to some good use! Recycle those boughs of evergreen by cutting them into 2- to 3-foot sections and place in garden and perennial beds as mulch. Lightweight, open evergreens permit moisture to reach the soil but also insulate the roots and crowns of plants from the freeze-thaw-freeze cycle of Ottawa winters. An alternative use for a holiday tree is to set it in the backyard and decorate it with bird seed and suet ornaments for winter birds.
When shoveling walks, distribute snow loads equitably on shrubs and garden beds. Continue to use potassium- or calcium-based deicing products on walkways rather than sodium-based ones. If possible, broadcast sand on slippery surfaces and always shovel snow before using any de-icing product.
Keep ponds free of ice by installing small pumps or pouring warm water over ice as it begins to form. Don’t bang ice with a heavy object if you have fish in the pond.
Continue to keep the garden tidy by removing any broken or fallen branches from the yard. If small plants have heaved out of the ground, gently press them back with your hands; avoid compressing thawed ground with heavy boots. Retie any vines that might have been torn from their supports.
Those are just a few of the tasks that you can perform now to keep your garden in good shape for the Spring thaw. Zoryk’s is will be back managing of your Ottawa property before you know it.