HELEN LANG: Tamp down the soil to reduce those air pockets

If might be a good idea to buy yourself a row-boat for Christmas in case we get marooned.

It is another foul day outside. With a completely overcast gray sky and a puddle in every dip in the pavement it’s still raining!

I guess we may as well get used to it. Almost certainly it’s going to pour almost daily until May of 2017. If might be a good idea to buy yourself a row-boat for Christmas in case we get marooned and need it to get us to the grocery store.  A couple of life-jackets might be a good idea and don’t forget the oars, unless you plan to swim along behind and push the boat. I’ll bet the water is almost freezing so, unless you have a better idea, buy those oars!

Actually if you are rich, an outboard motor would save a lot of effort on your part and maybe next summer you’d be able to supplement the food supply with all the fish you’d catch.

Pardon me while I enjoy a hearty laugh! We’d have starved to death if we’d had to rely on the fish we (almost) caught. But it was fun trying and much nicer for the fish who never seemed able to see our lures!

If you plan to give an Amaryllis bulb as a lovely Christmas gift for a dear friend, you could buy it now and get it started growing so that it will flower about Christmas time.

Planted a little later, it would also provide delight. The flowers are magnificent and January always seems to need cheering up.

Being so keen on gardening myself, I can’t help but think in terms of gifts for gardeners.

If the person is someone you really care about and money isn’t a problem, a really nice bird bath makes a wonderfully interesting gift but of course, if the recipient has a cat, please forget it, and settle on a metal garden bench, a big handsome pot or a hardy  shrub (an azalea, rhododendron,or a pieris) or perhaps a fruit tree (make sure you don’t need a male and a female tree to achieve pollination or be willing to settle for flowers only.

Consult your nursery staff to be sure your choice is actually what you had in mind and keep the roots moist until you actually plant it, please, and  the roots are safely under the soil.

Do add a big handful of bonemeal to the bottom of the planting hole, mixing it into the loose  soil there, before adding the shrub (tree), which will cover the roots with soil.

That needs to be tamped down before being flooded with water to make sure there are no pockets of air between those  roots and the soil.

You should drive in a strong stake to support your newly planted tree, tying them loosely together with wide bands of soft cloth until your new plant has had a chance to settle in, and produce a few roots to anchor it in place.

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.

Just Posted

Small homeless camp removed at Horth Hill Regional Park in North Saanich

CRD staff say the camp is not connected to Camp Namegans in Goldstream

Expect traffic delays at Burnside and Douglas this week for new bus lanes

Prep work runs Tuesday through Thursday while paving takes place Friday

Cool Aid Society cleans up Woodwynn Farms

Casual labour pool helps to clear debris

Victoria police searching for missing 18-year-old

Austin Bennett-Frechette is known to frequent the Greater Victoria Public Library

Recent rash of thefts in Sidney similar to past sprees

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP warn residents to lock their vehicles

UrbaCity raises record-breaking $70,000 for Island Prostate Centre

240 racers, corporate sponsors fill the coffers for the cause

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

‘I’ll never forgive you:’ Victim impact statements at hearing for Calgary killer

Curtis Healy was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the death of Dawns Baptiste.

Man accused of mailing bomb to his brother in B.C. has died

Leon Nepper was found in ‘medical distress’ at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre on Sunday

Most Read