A Gardener’s Diary: Seedy Saturday is a hit

Jocelyne Sewell offers up tips for keeping your bulbs' energy going long after they stop blooming

The first Vernon Seedy Saturday was a huge success. The event was attended by 877 people, which is pretty close to 900. A big number for the first one and organized in such a short time. The venue was just perfect, with lots of space between the tables so people could walk around easily, and lots of parking. I am sure it will be back next year.

As the first speaker of the day could not make it, I replaced him talking about starting your own seeds and growing some of your own favourite vegetables. I also demonstrated how I start my seeds by bringing some already germinated and ready to plant; how to make your little pots with newspaper and showing some items available to help any gardeners wanting an early start in the garden.

More people are becoming interested in growing figs so I am sure that the talk by Bill Hickey was well-attended. The only problem by having a table at the event, you don’t have time to take in all the other interesting talks and movies going on.

If you missed any of the Seedy Saturdays, you have one more chance. The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) is having its annual meeting on Thursday at the Schubert Centre. One more seed and plant swap/sale will be happening at 6:30 p.m.

March 22 was water day. Lots of web sites are celebrating this day and we all should make an effort to save as much water as we can. With the rain we had last week, it was enough to fill six of the rain barrels we have. This should keep me going for a short while. We really needed the rain as the ground is dry. I removed the leaf mulch from the beds just in time for them to get the benefit of it.

As the plants come up and we can tell what they are, it is a good time to start dividing some of the perennials. The ones that bloom early in the spring are better left alone until they are finished blooming, like irises. Once the flower of the tulips and the early blooming bulbs have terminated their spring show, do not cut the leaves until they turn yellow and ripen naturally. The green leaves are storing the energy for next year’s growth. If you cut them too soon, the bulbs might not bloom again the following year. The sun has to shine on these leaves. I have seen leaves braided or tied in a knot for better appearance of the beds. It might be robbing the bulbs also. If you don’t like the look of it, you could plant some in pots, sinks them in the ground and after the blooms are over, remove the pots and replace them with other plants or summer flowers. Yellow floppy leaves is a small price to pay for such beautiful flowers that deer don’t eat.

Over the seasons, I have had many phone calls from readers. Quite often I am out in the garden and some questions I have to research as I really do not know everything. Besides my phone number listed in my column, I have added a new email address. Anyone interested can now contact me at the following address: plantlady1@shaw.ca. Don’t forget the 1 as the other name already exists. I am not ready for Facebook or a blog but this will do for now.

For more information: 250-558-4556 plantlady1@shaw.ca

Jocelyne Sewell is an organic gardening enthusiast in the North Okanagan and member of the Okanagan Gardens & Roses Club. Her column appears every other Wednesday.