What Will This Gardening Season Hold for You?

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broken shrub

After a very challenging winter, it is so nice to finally turn a corner towards spring. As the vast amount of snow melts, you may find, like I have, that you have damaged, broken or dead plants to deal with in your gardens.

I came home from work today to see that one area of the back garden had finally melted free of snow, but the Summerweet shrub that was the focal point there was all broken from the snow load.

Once the ground dries up enough to get into that spot, I will prune the broken branches, assess the shape of the shrub, prune a bit more to balance out its appearance, then hope for the best. If it doesn’t recover, I’ll be looking for something new for that section of the garden.

Change is often a good thing. Although you may temporarily mourn the loss of a particular plant or tree, choosing something new for the garden can be an exciting experience.

There’s excitement here at New North Greenhouses too. We start our 27th season with a new owner. I’m staying on as manager of the garden centre and my knowledgeable team will be back again too. We look forward to helping you continue to be a successful gardener!

There are still many rumours flying around the Sault that the garden centre is closed and all the greenhouses have been converted to cannabis growing. That is certainly not true.

All of our production greenhouses are full of beautifully blooming hanging baskets, a vast array of annual flowers, herbs, vegetables and so much more! We are still growing beautiful plants for your gardens and look forward to opening for the season this coming weekend.

As gardeners, we often wish for a crystal ball to see what the coming season holds. Since that’s not possible, we just have to adapt as the season develops. However, we do know that garden soil will be wet and cold longer than usual this spring.

Try not to be too impatient. Stay out off the lawn and out of the gardens until things dry up a bit. Working wet soil drives air out, compacting it quite a bit. New roots have a hard time pushing heavy soil,  so growth can be stunted.

I have already gotten a few calls about when is the best time to unwrap shrubs you covered last fall. Since the weather has warmed now, if you haven’t already taken burlap and other covers off, do it on the next overcast day. Evergreens can get sun scald if unwrapped on a sunny spring day.

I have also been asked when to rake leaf debris and last season’s dead stalks out of perennial gardens. This question is in response to quite a few articles about leaving fallen debris undisturbed in early spring so the habitat for native pollinating insects remains intact.

I have one area of my garden that is in front of a neighbour’s fence that’s a bit out of the way and is always the last one I get cleaned up. Some years I don’t get to it at all before the perennials grow up and hide last season’s mess. I have indivertibly been helping the local pollinating insects!

I’m sure you can find one area of your garden that can be clean up last too. Lets all do our part to help the population of local pollinating insects thrive.

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About Me

I began my journey in horticulture in 1982 after graduating from the Humber College Landscape Technician program. At that time, I lead a talented crew of landscapers, taught evening courses in horticulture and had my own landscape design and consulting business. Then I ventured into the garden centre world. I’m lucky enough to be leading the friendly and knowledgeable team at New North Greenhouses. 

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New North Greenhouses

719 Airport Road

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

P6A 5K6

Our Garden Centre on Airport Road has now



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