Winter workshop prepares green thumbs

American Hoverly Syphidae in Humber Arboretum on North campus. Centre for Urban Ecology is holding talks for novice and experienced gardeners. (Photo: Sveta Soloveva) American Hoverly Syphidae in Humber Arboretum on North campus. Centre for Urban Ecology is holding talks for novice and experienced gardeners. (Photo: Sveta Soloveva)

Sveta Soloveva
Life Reporter

Garden experts offered their tips on preparing gardens for the winter at a workshop hosted by the Humber Arboretum’s Centre for Urban Ecology.

The free Oct. 3 talk, Putting Your Garden to Bed, was aimed at both experienced and beginner gardeners. It was held at the Arboretum’s Centre for Urban Ecology with around 40 people in attendance.

The Etobicoke Master Gardeners, a non-profit volunteer group devoted to increasing horticultural knowledge, advised attendees to keep cutting and cleaning up lawns until the frost arrives, wrap the trunks of young trees with burlap until spring, and planting cool-season vegetables, such as carrots, lettuce, spinach and radish.

Many novice gardeners also shared ideas with the group.

A few offered advice on how to protect tulip bulbs from squirrels. Tulip bulbs are considered a delicacy by rodents and one gardener suggested planting bulbs at night.

Master Gardener Tania Kroman recalled a time when squirrels watched her planting tulips one afternoon and ate almost all of them when she left.

Kroman said it is important to pay attention to depth when planting bulbs. The ideal depth should be 2.5 times deep as the bulb is tall.

Some visitors had problems with keeping their harvest fresh and tasty.

“I’m panicking because I don’t know what to do with my tomatoes,” a woman said. She needed advice on preserving tomatoes for winter.

Jim Graham from Master Gardeners suggested wrapping each tomato in paper and putting them in a cool room.

“Nobody ever said gardening is easy,” Master Gardener Mary Ellen Mathison said.

Another garden workshop, Planning Your Garden, is being offered on Nov. 7, with the location to be announced closer to the date.

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