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Between winter holidays, work and taking courses, I didn’t have time to start many seeds this winter. But fortunately I can still start plants from seeds outside!
Nasturtium seed

 

 


Written on Thursday, May 30, 2013 in Plants & Soils

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Written by Cristina da Silva

Pumpkin questions caught my attention at the Master Gardeners plant clinic this year. Pumpkin flowers, pollination and fruit set. 

Pumpkins at the Dallas Arboretum

Pumpkins at the Dallas Arboretum


Written on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 in Plants & Soils

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Written by Cristina da Silva

Twenty years ago I decided to start a garden maintenance company. I was fresh out of university, and had worked at low-paying jobs in garden centres, seed companies, and landscaping and garden maintenance companies.  I had very little money to buy garden equipment, so could buy only the most essential equipment.

Corona secateurs

Corona secateurs, one of the 11 essential gardening maintenance tools.


Written on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 in Landscaping & Soil

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Written by Cristina da Silva

I don’t usually grow orchids.  Many growers and gardeners advocate precise lighting, nutrition, water, temperature and soil conditions. Way too finicky for me! But since the mini-orchid was given to me, I thought I would give it a try.

I was in for a big surprise. 

Mini orchid


Written on Thursday, February 14, 2013 in Plants & Soils

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Written by Cristina da Silva

This week’s really, really cold temperatures has me stuck indoors for hours. Sucks. But it got me thinking, is this cold weather good for something?

Etobicoke creek


Written on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 in #groundchat News

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Written by Cristina da Silva

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of having Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott guest host on #GroundChat. She covered the many myths around mulch.  Many of the myths blew well-accepted mulch practices right out of the water!

Crocus

 


Written on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 in Building Soil

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Written by Cristina da Silva

A couple weeks ago, I gave a #GroundChat presentation on growing and gardening with clay soil. A seemingly mundane topic quickly became controversial over the suggestion to love and work with clay soil rather than focusing on amending it.

“Most attempts at changing soil are as successful as getting your chain-smoking uncle to give up cigarettes.” Owen Dell, Landscape Architect and Sustainable Landscaping pioneer 

Daylily thriving in clay soil


Written on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 in Building Soil

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Written by Cristina da Silva

This summer hot dry weather caused many plant casualties. In my case, it unearthed an underlying health problem with one of my recently planted maple trees. 

Amur maple with vertcillium wilt


Written on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 in Plants & Soils

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Written by Cristina da Silva

Autumn (Fall) offers the perfect opportunity to catch up on your gardening chores. Not only is it cooler and more comfortable to work in autumn, but autumn gardening tasks also mean less work and expense in the busy spring season.


Written on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 in Plants & Soils

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Written by Cristina da Silva

“Why bother having a Provincial/State soil?” I was asked on #groundchat.

 It’s a valid question. After all most of us, including gardeners, don’t give soil a second thought, even though we walk on it every day.

 As for the answer to that question, I couldn’t answer it any better than Charles E. Kellogg: 


Written on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 in Soils & Growing Media

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Written by Cristina da Silva