gardening

This image provided by the USDA Agricultural Research Service shows a closeup of a mosquito on human skin. (USDA Agricultural Research Service via AP)

How to take your garden and yard back from the mosquitoes

Eliminating these biting pests from your yard will not adversely affect the ecosystem

 

Buckwheat seeds can be sown now for a summer cover crop. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Time to sow winter crops in the garden

Midsummer sowing is tricky because of our hot, dry weather

  • Aug 13, 2022

 

Freshly-cut garlic scapes are just one part of the garlic you can use. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Getting the most out of your garlic

I sliced them, dried them in the dehydrator and blended that into a powder

  • Aug 6, 2022

 

Sahasi Erven’s Ukraine flower flag project is shown under the sun at Beacon Hill Park on Friday (July 22). Erven hopes to move all or part of the flag to Butchart Gardens or a location in Langford and has also sent an original song of his to a national TV channel in Ukraine. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)

Vancouver Island man keeps flower flag alive with message for Ukraine

Greater Victoria resident Sahasi Erven looks to give garden new life

Sahasi Erven’s Ukraine flower flag project is shown under the sun at Beacon Hill Park on Friday (July 22). Erven hopes to move all or part of the flag to Butchart Gardens or a location in Langford and has also sent an original song of his to a national TV channel in Ukraine. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
We have enough strawberries to make some tarts. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Best strawberry crop in 15 years

Gardening books that show bumper crops of strawberries on unprotected plants don’t live where I do

  • Jul 16, 2022
We have enough strawberries to make some tarts. (Mary Lowther photo)
Compost tea, diluted and sprayed on strawberry plants, produces the berries. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Healthy soil key to healthy plants

Untilled soil will also prevent disease as the plants have continued contact with micro biota

  • Jul 9, 2022
Compost tea, diluted and sprayed on strawberry plants, produces the berries. (Mary Lowther photo)
Stretching exercises after working in the garden reduces aches and pains. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Keeping up with physical demands of gardening

I can get carried away in the garden, planning to weed “just that one bed”

  • Jul 2, 2022
Stretching exercises after working in the garden reduces aches and pains. (Mary Lowther photo)
An example of trench composting. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Trench composting easier alternative to having a heap

Once the bed is full, it rests while the bed beside it gets dug up and treated the same way

  • Jun 25, 2022
An example of trench composting. (Mary Lowther photo)
Flowers bloom in a garden bed outside Government House. The residence is noted for the gardens on its grounds. (Black Press Media file photo)

Vancouver Island’s Government House gardens recognized in national list

Listed as one of the 100 Garden Moments in Canada as part of celebrations for the Year of the Garden

Flowers bloom in a garden bed outside Government House. The residence is noted for the gardens on its grounds. (Black Press Media file photo)
Cowichan Hospice House is looking for some volunteer gardeners to help maintain its outdoor space. (File photo)

Cowichan Hospice House needs gardeners

Gardens at Cowichan Hospice House create a beautiful outdoor extension of “The House that Love Built”

  • Jun 21, 2022
Cowichan Hospice House is looking for some volunteer gardeners to help maintain its outdoor space. (File photo)
Raspberries send up shoots in paths. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: It’s raspberry season and nobody’s complaining

If I only had room for one fruit it would be raspberries

  • Jun 18, 2022
Raspberries send up shoots in paths. (Mary Lowther photo)
I didn’t used to like mushrooms but as I got older, they grew on me. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: The world of mushrooms and benefits of no-till agriculture

Plant roots can pull up water and some nutrients but it’s the fungi that provide most nutrients

  • Jun 11, 2022
I didn’t used to like mushrooms but as I got older, they grew on me. (Mary Lowther photo)
Strawberries in flower and starting to berry need to be protected from birds. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: With the sun comes gardening responsibilities

In another neglected bed, the strawberries are just beginning to flower

  • Jun 4, 2022
Strawberries in flower and starting to berry need to be protected from birds. (Mary Lowther photo)
Wisteria flowering over a patio is an eye-catching addition to a Mill Bay garden during the Cowichan Family Life Association’s annual garden tour held May 29, 2022. (Andrea Rondeau/Citizen)

Gardens delight on Cowichan Family Life Association tour

Garden lovers from around the region flocked to 6 gardens

Wisteria flowering over a patio is an eye-catching addition to a Mill Bay garden during the Cowichan Family Life Association’s annual garden tour held May 29, 2022. (Andrea Rondeau/Citizen)
Raccoons love unprotected compost heaps. (Black Press Media stock image)

Mary Lowther column: A compost buffet and some uninvited guests

The first thing David built was a trio of industrial sized compost bins

  • May 28, 2022
Raccoons love unprotected compost heaps. (Black Press Media stock image)
Homemade bug spray waiting for the rain to stop. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther: Something has chewed on my peas…

I’ve made an insect-deterrent spray

  • May 14, 2022
Homemade bug spray waiting for the rain to stop. (Mary Lowther photo)
Winter rye, mostly cut down and crimson clover cover crop, building soil. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: A covering of clover provides many useful benefits

To attract pollinators I let my cover crops flower before cutting them down

  • May 7, 2022
Winter rye, mostly cut down and crimson clover cover crop, building soil. (Mary Lowther photo)
Russell Nursery in North Saanich is celebrating its 30th year in business. Co-owner Laurel Rassenti is preparing for blossoming gardeners when the weather gets a little warmer. (Wolfgang Depner/News Staff)

Weather slows early Vancouver Island gardening season but boom expected

Warmer weather will bring the green thumbs out of hibernation, businesses predict

Russell Nursery in North Saanich is celebrating its 30th year in business. Co-owner Laurel Rassenti is preparing for blossoming gardeners when the weather gets a little warmer. (Wolfgang Depner/News Staff)
Tiny ants moving pupae from cracks in the greenhouse, doing a far better job of getting rid of them than I could have done.
 (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Insects are a tiny staff of garden workers

The native garter snake is another dedicated consumer of unwanted visitors

  • Apr 30, 2022
Tiny ants moving pupae from cracks in the greenhouse, doing a far better job of getting rid of them than I could have done.
 (Mary Lowther photo)
Asparagus starting to burst through the soil. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Licking our chops for tasty asparagus spears

The first bed I transplanted into my huge new garden was (unsurprisingly) asparagus

  • Apr 23, 2022
Asparagus starting to burst through the soil. (Mary Lowther photo)