By: Looey Tremblay
Gardening is one of Canada's most popular hobbies. Playing in the dirt has its benefits - it can be a cheap form of recreation, a great stress-reducer, and bolsters your physical health through exercise and growing nutritious produce.
Whether you own a condo in Kitchener, have a large backyard at your home in Elmira, or have country acreage in Blair, you can grow beautiful blooms, harvest home-grown herbs and veggies, or grow heirloom plants (pollinated by insects or wind without human intervention).
A few tips to get you blooming in the right direction!
- Ascertain your plant hardiness zone. This will help you determine the plants that will thrive in your garden.
- Find a good source for plants. Bee Sweet in Puslinch has an excellent variety of native trees. Warren Greenhouses in Kitchener grow and sell neonic-free plants. Warren's is only open seasonally closing up shop in late June. Rona's, Zehr's Garden Centres, and Sheridan Nurseries are good bets, as well, to score plants that are untreated and neonic-free. If you are housebound, order online from Ontario Native Plants!
- Figure out the sun and shade requirements of the plants you want to grow.
- Join a local horticultural society - such as the Kitchener Horticultural Society so you can benefit and learn from expert horticulturists about soil requirements and gardening tips.
- In case you are considering rounding up Roundup to treat weeds, don't!! Roundup is "one of the world's most commonly used herbicides". Roundup contains glyphosate - cited as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Numerous other diseases - from autism to liver disease - are linked to Roundup exposure. Exposure to Roundup can be through the nose or mouth, absorbed through the skin, or by eating food tainted by glyphosate. That's the human toll. Glyphosates are deadly for pets, wildlife, birds, bees, and butterflies too! Keep it green!
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