Garlic, dogwood, and well-composted manure

Dear Anne,

“I plant garlic every fall and it seems to do quite well, but wonder if I should be fertilizing during the growing season. I don’t plant it in the same place every year and I do amend and try to replenish the soil.”

Ellie Stewart, South Delta

It sounds as if you’re doing just fine with your garlic. Because you’re doing crop rotation and nourishing your soil regularly, it should already have all the nutrition it needs.

Though it likes to start off in deep, rich soil, garlic is actually quite a light feeder and leaves lots of food in the soil for the next crop.

But garlic does like regular moisture in the growing season. So it will need extra watering if we continue to get long, dry spells at times when we normally have drenching rains.

Dear Anne,

“I have a flowering dogwood, Korean, I think. Its flowers are pink and it’s a nice, smallish front yard tree. It gets lots of sunlight, but later in the summer its leaves get a bit blighty. Would dormant spray help?

“Also, I’ve been pruning/shaping the tree in the winter when it’s dormant. Is this the optimal time? I don’t want to be cutting off all the flowering branches.”

John Barbisan, Vancouver

Virtually all the infections flowering dogwoods get are fungal. So, yes, dormant spray will help. Your dogwood is probably Cornus kousa. Does the name ‘Satomi’ ring a bell? It is a pink-flowered variety that’s popular here. Satomi’s leaves turn purple in fall.

Because flowering dogwoods don’t respond to pruning at all well, as little should be done as possible. The flower buds are formed in fall, so when you must prune, it’s best to prune immediately after flowering. Dead branches can be removed any time.

Dear Anne,

“My grandson has purchased a community garden plot and is so excited to plant vegetables for the family. He’s brand new to gardening so it’s a big learning curve for him.

“He’s now ready to add manure to the soil and has a place to get free cow manure. I’m concerned as to all the weeds it will bring. What would be the best option? Don’t worry and just be a good weed-puller or…?”

Diane Benner, Surrey

Any animal that feeds on grass or hay will produce manure with lots of weed seeds. But manure that’s been composted for a year has far fewer seeds, because heat within the pile is intense enough to kill most of them. Your grandson needs to ask if the manure is already composted, and if so, for how long.

Free manure is an attractive option, and if it’s already composted for a year or more, I’d say, “Go for it!” If not, it would be best passed up, especially since he’s a first-timer.

New gardeners on a learning curve don’t need to add extra weed-pulling to all the new things he’ll be doing anyway. As well, un-composted manure tends to burn plant roots.

Actually, this farm manure may be well-composted anyway, because people with animals don’t always find it easy to unload all the manure animals make. So it could have been piled for quite a while.

Just Posted

Day 3 brings fourth win for the Langley-based Team BC

Tyler Tardi and squad plays two games Tuesday at the junior curling nationals in Saskatchewan.

Cash-for-signs policy pondered by Langley Township

A deposit could be required to put up election signs in 2022.

RCMP ‘amending’ helicopter training after complaints in Surrey

Cloverdale residents say the Air One chopper was in the air for hours and flying at low altitudes

Langley charity looks to South Asian community for hospital support

The Giving Hearts Gala is the newest initiative of the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.

LETTER: Langley resident challenged MP’s immigration ‘truths’

A writer says well-vetted immigrants who can contribute to Canadian society should be the priority.

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Speaker brings report on allegations to B.C. legislature committee

Report describes Darryl Plecas’ suspicions about senior staff

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver that killed BC RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Doug Ford says the Liberals’ carbon tax will plunge Canada into recession

The Ontario premier said there are already warning signs of difficult economic times ahead

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

45% cent of those surveyed say they will need to go further into debt to pay their living and family expenses

Most Read