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Hello fellow gardening enthusiasts and members of the St. James Horticultural Society. We hope you are all doing well and staying safe.

Unfortunately we are still not able to hold our regular meetings however please remember to  follow our Facebook page and website for up to date information.


Many thanks to the following people for their ongoing commitment in getting the gardens ready for our membership. Without this group of individuals we would not be gardening this year.
Linda W
Cathy K
Wayne W
And our behind the scenes organizers
Sharon and Joelle

Please remember that we are all volunteers and that the gardens are a place for positivity.

Friday May 28 update. People are out and about at the Gardens and things are coming along nicely.
We have a record number of gardeners this year. Over 170. It will be important to share the paths  and the parking. Remember the Covid rules and right now you can only be on the plot with members from your household. Please make everyone welcome but do not gather in groups until the province relaxes its rules.  If your garden is along the edge, park a few feet back so your neighbours hauling water in wagons have a straight path to their paths/ gardens.  Lots of folks in the middle of the garden are hauling water a long way, help ensure it’s not made further because they have to circle out around cars.
On the paths and at the water, wear your mask and sanitize your hands. Keep well back from each other while waiting for water.
The water is now on. There is a bit of carpentry work to do yet, but taps are on and there are no leaks. If you do see any, please advise us ASAP.  The water is now on a timer and it will come on at 7 am and go off at 9pm.
Many of you have quack grass in your gardens. It is important to dig it out, removing the rhizomes below the surface. If you rototill it before doing so, you will simply be creating more grass on your plot. A good fork will help you get down to those rhizomes.
We have a lot of young families, with JR gardeners ( children) this year. Drive carefully around the gardens and help them feel welcome.
The old compost piles will be picked up by the city in the coming weeks. After that we will put in posts to designate the areas that you can place waste from your gardens.   These are compost piles, NOT garbage. Only plants, roots and weeds from your garden should go there. No plastic, no bags, no gloves/masks etc. We are starting to see garbage accumulating. Please ensure you and your families understand the importance of this. If you bring it; take it home. Please!
Here are a few pictures of the progress...
Our Glenlea Fundraiser was held again this year. Thank you so much to the volunteers who enabled plant pick-up to run smoothly while following the Covid restrictions. The plants were lovely and of the usual excellent quality we have grown to expect from Glenlea.

We’ve had over 60 new members this season!!

The ST. JAMES FLOWER ARRANGERS had their regular meeting May 5th via zoom.

A structural arrangement incorporating a simple wooden structure that is an integral part of the design. 

Thanks to Pat for the inspiring step by step instructions of the CARPENTRY demo. 
(Workshop on June 2nd)

A vertical arrangement incorporating feathers and/or a bird figurine.


by Karla
St. James Horticultural Society Board Member and Gardener in Training 

With this summers dry forecast I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been thinking about ways to better manage how I use water in the garden. 
With projected drought conditions, how can we still enjoy our flowers and veggies without sky-high water bills or hauling water day and night? Here are some tips from agriculture and gardening experts on creating a garden with a good water management plan.
  • Consider drought resistant plants - this seem obvious right? If you're not willing to give up your favourite tomatoes you can still enjoy them, just incorporate some of these other helpful ideas into your routine
  • Consider reducing your crop - especially if you know you're going to have to haul all your water
  • Companion planting - by planting mutually beneficial plants near each other they can provide shade, a natural trellis and, or nutrients.
  • Grouping - planting plants with similar water needs near each other can help in conserving water
  • Mulch - laying mulch around your plants and on pathways help to keep the soil cool and moisture in the ground. Make sure to water deeply before laying your mulch so the soil has moisture to start. Added bonus it helps keep the weeds at bay too!
  • Weed Control - pull weeds early so you plants don't have to compete with them for available water and nutrients
  • Hexagonal gardening - instead of rows, hexagons allow for planting things closer together creating more shade, keeping the ground cooler and reducing evaporation
  • Watering: 
    • When? Late evening and early morning are better as temperatures are cooler and winds less, reducing evaporation
    • Where? Administer water as close to the base of the plants as possible to reduce evaporation and ensure it makes it to the roots
    • How? Deep watering less frequently is more effective than brief frequent watering as the water gets deeper and the roots will go deeper, being able to better withstand dry conditions
Now I'm no expert, but here are a few tricks that I've used to help keep my garden watered, even if I'm not able to get to there for a few days or so (hello long weekends).
  • Bottle irrigation - Pop, milk whatever will work, just poke a few small holes in the bottom so water can slowly trickle out. Dig a hole near or between your plants and bury the bottle almost to top. The less exposed to the sun the better. Now just unscrew the lid, fill the bottle a few times and voila! This deep watering is great as it promotes deep roots and the deeper soil stays moist for longer. This is especially useful around my thirsty plants like pumpkins, plus it keeps the water off leaves reducing powdery mildew and the like. Just make sure to remove the bottles at the end of the season.
  • Mulch - I know I already mentioned this but aside from reducing evaporation it adds organic material back into the soil and provides some cool shady spots for beneficial critters like toads. I always have one or two in my garden who dig out a little hole for themselves near one of my bottles where it's a little extra moist since my aim isn't always the greatest.
  • Rain barrel - it's great when Mother Nature fills it for me but when she's otherwise occupied I keep my rain barrel filled for those days I just need to water one or two things, or if it's busy at the water tap. Plus, the sun warms the water so it isn't as much of a shock to the plants, especially younger ones.
I hope you find this information helpful and we'd love to hear about your water management strategies and tricks. Feel free to send us an email or a message on Facebook to share with the community.
by Pamela McFarlane

When you are in a potential drought year, gardeners and growers need to consider DTM (days to maturity) for gardens, watering needs and sun requirements of what you are growing.

Companion planting
Planting cucumbers with corn provides the cucumbers with needed shade and support while the corn receives pest protection and nutritional aid. With the right timing and spacing you can successfully produce these two warm-season vegetable crops together.
Planting tomatoes with carrots and chives are also a good pairing. The tall tomato plants shade the soil, while the carrot's full foliage provides a natural mulch that retains soil moisture and suppresses weed growth. Planting the two vegetables together ensures that both grow well and produce an ample harvest. Chives next to carrots will improve the flavour of the carrots.

Group Similar Vegetables for Watering
Different vegetables have different water requirements for the best production. If you plant your garden without taking the water needs of individual plants into consideration you could end up watering some plants more than they need and others less than they need. Instead, focus on giving plants the perfect amount of moisture – while conserving water – by grouping vegetables in your drought tolerant garden according to their watering requirements.
A good rule of thumb is to supply water once every two or three days at the height of summer. Remember that water supplied by Mother Nature counts towards watering tomato plants in the garden. Once the weather cools and fruit has set, scale back watering to once a week.
Considering low, medium, and high watering needs is a key factor to success.  For example, spinach, turnips, and watermelon have low water needs while broccoli and cucumbers have high watering needs.  Grouping these vegetables allows you to spend less time watering every vegetable and gives them the care that helps them to thrive and provide a good harvest.
St. James Horticultural Society Brochure PDF download
You can view this cutie and other photos from our gardens on our website.
Please view more images
on our website (link above) from our member gardens and plants

If you are a member and would like to see your garden and plants featured on the website please send photos and pertinent information to:
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