Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sarritor Works in Calgary

Newly released this spring, the fungus Sarritor is being promoted as a non-chemical cure for dandelions. Well- in my test of one lawn it has worked. And not in ideal conditions. It was applied last week on a pleasant day but the week deteriorated with snow by the weekend. The homeowner Bruce just e-mailed me to say it has killed all his dandelions and he is very pleased, I will follow up with him later to see if it is a long term control or just a short term cure.

Developed at McGill University this native Canadian fungus - based on Sclerotinia minor - seems to work. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Available in Calgary at Green Gate Garden Center.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Calgarians - source of "Snow Princess" found

My favorite new plant in 2009 was an outstanding alyssum that bloomed all summer and never went to seed. I just found this Proven Winner's introduction at Sunnyside and wanted to let reader's of this Blog know. Snow Princess is with the annuals on the west side of the road...

Pinch/Prune Mugo Pines Now

Not one- but two gardeners asked me last week about pruning their mugos. They had grown at least 30 cm last year and were galloping along again this year with fully extended candles. I showed them how to pinch the candles to remove at least half the new growth without clippers or any fancy equipment. See pruned and unpruned photos above.

If you have a mugo pine pinch it now to keep it in good shape and to keep it small and compact.

Smelly Water Barrel... mystery solved

Thanks to an avid CBC listener the answer to the smelly water barrel question from last week is solved:

Shelagh writes:
In response to the question about the horrid smell in the rain barrel, I
suggest that the problem is pigeons. While in Calgary I had the same issue,
year after year. No matter how often I cleaned the barrel, it stank. One
spring, just after one of the famous Calgary downpours, I noticed egg shells
and baby bird bits in the rain barrel and it all came together. I had had
pigeons roosting on the roof that drained into the barrel for years - could
not get rid of them. So, I think the caller's problem probably stems from
pigeon guano and pigeon nest refuse. It's nasty stuff and the water should
not be used any where near food crops. Pigeons carry quite a few diseases
that are transmittable to humans.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Momentum Mower- Love it

If you were listening to CBC Radio on Friday you heard me interview two husbands about their new mowers. The two husbands had something in common - they both hated their old hand push mowers - one had a Lee Valley Tools push mower and one had a Gardena push mower - both top of the line cutting machines.

One husband bought a new Cadet battery powered mower and one a Momentum push Mower from Fiskars. In the end it has become a love in for the Fiskars mower - half the price of the Cadet and just as effective. Available from Canadian Tire.

My neighbor came over to borrow the Momentum by Fislars to mow his neighbor's lawn. When he returned it he was overwhelmed. "It's my favorite mower - not just among push mowers but all mowers". Pretty good testimonial. But with all the bad push mowers out there it may be hard to get gardeners and husbands to try this new machine. It is not like any other push mower so has to be tried to be believed.