Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum) aka Common Parsnip or American Parsnip, is a native plant that widely grows in north America. It is a large plant rising up to heights of 1-2.5 m (3-8 ft.) when in flower. Like giant hogweed, cow parsnip contains organic chemicals within it’s sap called furanocoumarins. This chemical is activated by ultraviolet radiation and the result is severe burning, blistering and … Continue reading Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is likely the largest and most dangerous to touch perennial weed in North America. In Ontario it commonly reaches heights of 3-4.5m but in other parts of the world it can reach heights of 5.5m (MacDonald F. and Anderson H. 2012). There are a few other Giant Hogweed species that are a bit smaller in size but Heracleum mantegazzianum is the … Continue reading Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans and Toxicodendron Rydbergii)

By: Kimberley Pacholko Eastern Poison Ivy, (Toxicodendron radicans) and Western Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron Rydbergii ) are important plants to learn how to identify for personal safety. Touching any part of this plant can cause a painful itchy rash with red swollen skin and painful blisters. I have had the miss fortune of being caught twice by this plant and can testify to how unpleasant the … Continue reading Poisonous to Touch Weed Series: Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans and Toxicodendron Rydbergii)

Daylily Problems

Daylilies (Hemerocallis sp.) are popular garden plants grown abundantly by home gardeners, cities and commercial properties alike. Their appeal in part is due to their long bloom time, adaptability to a wide range of growing conditions and their relative ease of maintenance. There are a few foliar problems to be aware of, and while they seldom kill the plant, they can certainly mar the visual … Continue reading Daylily Problems

Mealybug Damage To Yews

Yews are a popular shrub in ornamental home gardens. Their deeply green foliage contrasts beautifully in the gardens spring, summer, fall and winter. Their slow growth habit and ability to take a hard pruning has made them a favorite for hedges and topiary for thousands of years. One of the insect pests that is commonly quite damaging to yews are mealybugs. There are many varieties … Continue reading Mealybug Damage To Yews

Juniper Blight

Juniper trees and shrubs are a popular choice in the ornamental home garden. These slow growing plants require little maintenance, are fairly drought tolerant, take full sun and are able to grow in a variety of soil types. They are fairly salt tolerant and make good roadside plantings. In addition to this they are evergreens and provide year-round beauty and interest to the landscape. With … Continue reading Juniper Blight

Haskap Berries

An Exciting New Crop for North America ‘Haskap’ berries (Lonicera caerulea) also known as ‘Blue Honeysuckle’, and ‘Honeyberries’ are a fast growing, cold hardy, high yielding and early harvesting berry touted to be high in vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants in addition to being high in fibre (Haskap Canada Association, n.d). Their taste (while variable depending on the cultivar) is described as being a cross … Continue reading Haskap Berries

Calcium It’s Role in Soil and Plant Health

What is Calcium? Calcium is an essential plant nutrient who’s role is vital to both plant and soil health. Its presence in the soil affects everything from soil pH and soil salinity to a soils structure. Its uptake by plants is vital to cellular health where it serves to strengthen and thicken cell walls and to regulate cell permeability. Its role as secondary messenger additionally … Continue reading Calcium It’s Role in Soil and Plant Health

Planting Near A Walnut Tree

When selecting plant material for a home garden it is important to first take inventory of the trees on your property and neighbouring properties. Trees like walnut can present a real challenge for gardeners. Not only do the plants you select have to deal with shade and strong competition for water and nutrients, (as with planting near any large tree), they additionally have to contend … Continue reading Planting Near A Walnut Tree

Viburnum Leaf Beetle

Viburnum leaf beetles (Pyrrhalta viburni), are a serious threat to many species of viburnum. They are voracious feeders with a long feeding season. Both the larvae and adults feed on viburnum leaves. The larvae skeletonize the leaves while the adults chew oblong holes in them. If their numbers are great enough, they can completely defoliate a viburnum shrub, causing dieback that can lead eventually to … Continue reading Viburnum Leaf Beetle

MULCH so Many Benefits and so Many Choices

Why Mulch?    When to Mulch?   The best time to mulch is after you have finished planting in May. By this time your soil should be sufficiently warmed. Mulching to early, before your soil temperature has a chance to warm, will slow down root and plant growth. Major soil disturbances after mulching may require additional mulch. Landscape Cloth Landscape fabric is a specially designed, permeable fabric, … Continue reading MULCH so Many Benefits and so Many Choices

Juniper Rust (aka) Cedar Apple Rust

Written by Kimberley Pacholko Updated on Sept. 25, 2021 Juniper Rust (Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae) better known as Cedar Apple Rust, s a fungal Disease requiring 2 years and 2 host plants to complete its life cycle. In the first group of host trees you have Apple, Quince and Hawthorne. In the second group you have Eastern Red Cedars and many varieties of Junipers. The disease can … Continue reading Juniper Rust (aka) Cedar Apple Rust

Fire Blight in the Ornamental Home Garden

Fire Blight caused by Erwinia amylovora, is a serious bacterial disease that affects many members of the rose family (Rosaceae), such as purple sand cherry, apple, crabapple, quince, pear, plum, mountain ash and more. The trees and shrubs that have been infected have the appearance of having been scorched by fire. The disease is systemic and spreads rapidly leading to extensive damage, even death. There is … Continue reading Fire Blight in the Ornamental Home Garden

Flea Beetle Damage to Tomato Plants

If the leaves of your tomato plants appear as though they have been used as target practice at a rifle range, then chances are you have flea beetles. They are a common pest of tomato seedlings. Other plants that can be damaged include peppers, melons, potatoes, corn, spinach, eggplants, radishes and members of the brassica family (like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts). Flea beetles can be hard … Continue reading Flea Beetle Damage to Tomato Plants

Black Knot Disease of Plum and Cherry Trees

Black Knot Disease otherwise known as Dibotryon morbosum, is a serious, yet fairly common fungal disease of plums and cherry trees (including choke cherries). Other members of the Prunus family (like peaches, nectarines, apricots and almonds) can also be affected but it is less common. The affected trees develop hard, black elongated swellings, called knots, thus the name black knot. These knots are scattered throughout … Continue reading Black Knot Disease of Plum and Cherry Trees

Natural Insect Control In The Garden

The majority of insects you find in your garden are actually harmless and require no intervention. They are either nature’s helpers or food sources for nature’s helpers. For those insects that do pose a threat to some of your plants there are several non-invasive solutions you can utilize to prevent, monitor and control these pest insects. This approach to pest management is called IPM or … Continue reading Natural Insect Control In The Garden

Winter Garden Care – Protecting Your Plants From Salt Damage

Rock salt or Sodium Chloride (Na Cl) is commonly used to deice roads and walkways. As a deicer it is fast, easy to use, effective and affordable. On the downside though, its corrosive nature is damaging to vehicles, roads and pathways. This same salt can also be very damaging to plant material. There are 3 ways in which salt can damage your plant material: What … Continue reading Winter Garden Care – Protecting Your Plants From Salt Damage

Eastern Filbert Blight On Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick

Eastern Filbert Blight is a disease caused by the fungus – Anisogramma anomola and is native to the northeastern United States and eastern Canada (although it has appeared in British Columbia, as early as 2001). Hazelnuts native to this region (Corylus americana) have proven to be more resistant to the disease (some are even immune) than the imported European hazelnuts (Corylus avellana). For Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, a contorted hazelnut (Corylus avellana … Continue reading Eastern Filbert Blight On Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick

Growing Tomato Plants From Seed

Growing tomato plants from seed is relatively easy and growers both big and small have been doing so for centuries. However, to produce top quality seedlings a well-orchestrated plan for germination and cultural practices based on the latest research, is most advantageous. The following plan/guide lays out step by step how to produce top notch tomato seedlings. Materials needed: Potting media: Use a commercially prepared peat-lite … Continue reading Growing Tomato Plants From Seed

Magnolia Scale Identification and Treatment

Magnolia scale (Neolecan cornuparvum) are one of the largest soft scale insects in North America measuring 1/2″. They feed on the sap of magnolias weakening them. Their feeding creates a sticky mess that attracts wasps, ants and the like. The sticky leaves grow black sooty mold on them, and the beauty of the tree is greatly marred. Identification If your Magnolia tree has Magnolia Scale … Continue reading Magnolia Scale Identification and Treatment