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

Aldergrove chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Anti-gang forum aimed at helping Langley parents keep teens safe

Preventing gang recruitment is the focus of a forum to be held next week

Langley Blaze display depth despite temporary loss of pitchers

Injury and invitation to play for Team Canada leave team down three

‘Everyone wins’ volunteering for Games – chair

Langley’s Jamey Paterson has taken the helm for the 2020 winter and summer competitions

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Man pleads guilty in Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

B.C. sends 267 firefighters to help battle Alberta wildfires

Out of control fires have forced evacuations in the province

LETTER: Fletcher ‘blurs reality’ on B.C. union public construction

Bridge, highway projects awarded to companies, not unions

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Most Read