The Gardener’s Corner

The Gardener’s Corner

An early start to strawberry season and some advice on lawn equipment

Erik still likes to use a mower with a pull cord, but suggests some other options as well

It looks like the strawberry season will be early this year. My plants have been in bloom for the last three weeks, and I have water them with the soaker hose weekly.

They are like the raspberry; if you want a profit, you first have to invest. Now would also be an excellent time to fertilize all your fruiting bushes to create a maximize production.

I use a fertilizer called six-eight-six. The lawns should also be fertilized soon to make the garden stand out.

A slow-release fertilizer has been my choice over the years.

If the lilac bush is finished blooming, remove one-third of the oldest branches from the centre of the bush. This is to force the bush to make new growth; that will be your next years’ new shrub.

When You have done that, it is time to remove the faded blooms, called deadheading. Yes, it is a tedious job, but if you want more blooms next year rather than seeds, the job must be done by doing the following. At the bottom of each stem of the old flower, you will see two tiny buds. Those are your flower bud for next year. If the old flower and stem have not been removed asap after bloom, those buds will not be developed, and all you will be looking at seedpods.

A tool I found that makes this much quicker is a pruning snip; it also works well when trimming flowers and the like.

I just came in for a cup of coffee from mowing my lawns. While doing this, I got thinking I have not written about lawn equipment. I use a self-propelled lawn mower using a gas engine.

To get it started, I pull the starter rope. This is the way I always have done it and will for a while yet. Today you can purchase the right lawnmower for your needs. In my experience, lawn equipment requiring an electric cord is the cheapest but can cause injury if not careful.

Someone I knew kept blaming his lawnmower for running over and damaging the electrical cord. If you are unable to pull the starter rope, battery-driven lawn mowers are available.

The weed eater, weed whacker, weed whip, line trimmer, has, over the years, become a necessity. It was invented in 1970 by someone using a fishing line. I purchased one for my business sometime later, with four cords, eighty-five cc and weight of 28lbs, able to cut anything green and the operator, if not careful.

It was a heavy one to carry around, even with a wide shoulder belt. I have over the years used the ones with a straight shaft; it makes it much easier to cut the grass where the lawnmower cannot go.

If you think about getting one that is battery-driven, it might be a good idea to get one using the same battery as the lawnmower.

If you have questions or suggestions for topics, please email me at

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