Dunnville Horticulture Society

April Program Night Minutes

Thursday April 18th 2019 Minutes by Petra Kruis-Daly

The evening began with Deb Z welcoming everyone, reminding them of washrooms, sign in sheet and general housekeeping items. First the business will be conducted then, during the break make everyone welcome to get their snacks for the movie, get your ways and means tickets and purchase your memberships if you haven’t done so.

1. Deb Z spoke briefly about the Lions ‘Home and Garden’ show happening today and Saturday, DHS has a booth and she encouraged everyone to check it out.
2. The ‘information board’ that has information about our events was pointed out, please check it out at the back of the room.
3. District 9 spring forum on April 27. Carpooling is available, sign up at the sheets at the back of the room.
4. Plant sale is May 11th. 7am to noon. If anyone is working in their gardens, remember to pot any plants you are splitting as we are happy to get them to raise money. Garden art/items will be a welcome donation as well. Sign up sheets at the back of the room for anyone willing to help set up the plant sale on the Friday evening before, or helpers to sell at the plant sale on the Saturday.
5. Planting day is May 25, everyone is welcome to sign up and help out that morning 8am until done. Sign up sheet at the back of the room.
6. Please give us ideas for program nights or other things we can do in our club, suggestions can be put in the ‘suggestion box’ at the sign in table. We take suggestions very seriously and often act on those suggestions, such as having our garden tours in the fall rather in early spring.
7. Debbie T spoke about the Floral Clock. The design process is happening. The original water tower and information on the original clock will be our/DHS focus as Haldimand Heritage inquired/as to no overlaps. They are in process with plans to install other story boards throughout/along new park paths. (Wingfield/Waterfront park).
8. Thompson Creek is moving ahead. The controlled burn will hopefully happen in the next few weeks. It all depends on weather/wind conditions. It does need to be done before birds start to nest in the area. A map at the back of the room shows the prescribed burn location. Following the burn, Ducks Unlimited Canada will be planting over $40,000 in wildflower seeds/forbes in the area. A partnership with DHS/Hald County/DUC will provide funding over the next 5 years to be used in the Tallgrass/Wetland area.
9. Deb Z asked for the Board members to stand and be acknowledged for all the hard work they do before and after DHS events/programs.
10. Susan Stadler was thanked for her help with taking over the website and working all the technology during program nights.
11. Once again, we were selected to be a recipient of the Mayor’s Gala. Last time we received approx $10,000. In order to get this money, we need volunteers to help in the days ahead to set up and work the event. More information on this will be coming.
12. Deb welcomed everyone to get prepared for the movie by getting popcorn, candy, drinks as well as purchasing ways and means tickets.
13. Deb introduced the movie “The Gardener” , A Documentary about Frank Cabot who created a beautiful garden oasis on his estate ‘Les Quatre Vents” in the Charlevoix region in Quebec.
14. After the movie finished, everyone was wished a safe drive home, and ways and means tickets were drawn.

Dunnville Hort Society April Update

By Deb Zynomirski

To The Haldimand Press

DUNNVILLE—Seems like the switch has been flipped and just like that, spring is upon us! The Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS)’s March program night was a very busy one, with Kelly and Troy from Moodie Bees giving a very educational talk on bees. Representing the Haldimand-Norfolk Beekeepers Association, they provided great insight into the complex and interesting life of bees. In addition, they explained the whys and hows of helping these little critters to thrive in our area. Thank you, Kelly and Troy! We had 75 people sign in that night, making for a busy and packed house. It was also the final night to qualify for the early bird membership draw. This was won by John Cruickshank. Don’t worry if you didn’t get in on the early bird draw … you can still purchase a membership at the Lions Home and Garden Show! We will be there all-day Thursday (April 18) and Saturday (April 20). Come visit us and check out our booth and enjoy one of our great mini-demos on the Saturday!

Our next program night is also Thursday, April 18, 2019 when we will be featuring a wonderful screening of the documentary film titled The Gardener. This movie follows the work of one man’s passionate pursuit of perfection in his own 20-acre garden in Quebec. We will enjoy popcorn and other theatre-style goodies that night!

At DHS we are gearing up for a busy spring of planting, weeding and tending our town flower beds. We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers. Join us and see what our club is all about. You are sure to make new friends and learn something great … not to mention enjoy some excellent refreshments! So come on out to our next program night! DHS meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7-9 p.m. Or visit us online at our Facebook page or website dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org. For questions or comments, contact myself (President) at 416-566-9337 or debzyn@gmail.com.

Controlled Burn Scheduled for April 2019 As Part of Thompson Creek Parkland Restoration Project

In May 2018, Haldimand County Council awarded an $11,550 community partnership grant to the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) to bring the Thompson Creek Parkland Restoration Project to fruition. Part of this Haldimand County-DHS-Ducks Unlimited Canada partnership project requires that a controlled burn be conducted on the parkland adjacent to Robinson Road. The burn will take place in April 2019 (weather dependent).

The Thompson Creek Parkland Restoration Project aims to rehabilitate the wetlands and grassland, create naturalized walkable pathways and establish a Carolinian Arboretum Education Centre/outdoor classroom. The purpose of the controlled burn is to clear the grassland site of accumulated debris, halt the growth of invading shrubs and rejuvenate the native tallgrass ecosystem.

Controlled burns are deliberately set, carefully planned and controlled fires that consume ground level fuels like dried leaves, cured grass, needles and fallen/downed woody debris. The practice is a widely-used and recognized scientific method of controlling non-fire tolerant invasive species, allowing for growth and regeneration of naturally-occurring historical grasslands and fire-tolerant tree species.

The controlled burn has been carefully planned in consultation with Haldimand County Emergency Services, with public safety at the forefront. Lands & Forests Consulting has been contracted to oversee the burn with a team of highly-trained, experienced and nationally-certified wildland firefighters. Haldimand County Emergency Services will be on site for the duration of the burn, with Dunnville Station 9 on standby with equipment to assist if firefighting efforts are required.

The exact date of the controlled burn has not been confirmed, as weather and wind conditions will dictate the best time. Haldimand County will post updates regarding the timing of the burn via HaldimandCounty.ca and its social media channels.

Every effort will be made to make sure impacts from the controlled burn are minimized, however, if conditions change during the burn, neighbouring residences, schools and businesses may be affected. To prevent exterior smoke from entering your home, or in the event of exterior smoke entering your home or facility, please:

  • Refrain from outside activities like yard work and do not let your children play outside;
  • Check the Air Quality Index for your area (available on all weather-related websites, such as
    Environment Canada). If there is a high risk in your area, it is best to stay indoors;
  • Make sure you stay inside if local authorities advise those in your area to do so;
  • Close your windows and fireplace dampers to keep out the smoke; and,
  • Turn off air conditioners and HVAC systems.

More information about the Thompson Creek Parkland Restoration Project will be released once preliminary work on the site has been completed. Residents with questions or concerns about the controlled burn are encouraged to consult the Q&A document. All updates regarding the burn will be posted on the Haldimand County website and social media channels.

Seeding Speedily

There are various ways a gardener can “get the jump” on the growing season. Not only can vegetables mature sooner, but it also enables multiple cropping.

The photos show some simple ways to warm up the soil to enable planting well before the last frost.

1. Cover the soil with plastic. Clear plastic invites the sun’s rays to go through the plastic while black plastic attracts the sun, thus warming the soil. Using plastic requires something to weight it and prevent the wind from blowing it away.

2. Laying a piece of thick glass also allows the sun’s rays to penetrate and warm the soil. Placing a thermometer into the earth enables observing the rise of temperature.

This photo shows the use of glass and black plastic to attract the warming sun’s rays.

3. By cutting the bottoms off juice containers, not only do they permit the sun to heat the soil, but can also act as a mini greenhouse after the seeds germinate and the plant emerges. If a frost is predicted, shredded leaves can be strewn over the jugs.

4. Wrapping an electric heating blanket in a tarp is yet another way to warm the soil and lengthen the growing season.

5. Starting tomato plants indoors in a pot large enough to prevent the roots from being disturbed is yet another method which will expedite the ripening of the crop.

The photos show the use of glass, black plastic, and juice containers to attract the warming sun’s rays.

Shown is a cut jug used as a mini-greenhouse.

Lester C. Fretz, M.Sc., is a member of the Dunnville Horticulture Society.   

A bit of warm weather does not make it gardening season

Marlene Link cautions against being too eager in the garden

“Haste makes waste” is a saying that can apply to our gardens, too — don’t be too hasty at the first warm day to start clearing your gardens.

Leave your leaves to help insulate your plants and bulbs, as we are likely to receive more wintry weather. It also protects the worms that are breaking those leaves down and fertilizing the soil.

If you really must do some work, start by removing broken branches, dead hosta leaves and damaged plants; you can also cut back tall flower stems.

Add this material to your compost, with some manure to give it a kick-start. Try to avoid walking on your beds, as this compacts the soil, which makes it hard for roots to grow.

Pruning late summer-blooming plants can be done now, but don’t prune spring blooming plants now — wait until after they have bloomed to prune or shape.

Cut back your ornamental grasses, and if you have large-stemmed grass, save those stems to use for supports. Leave your silver leafed plants, like lavender, caryopteris and artemisia for a later date and warmer weather.

Why not join other gardeners and would-be gardeners at our next program night on April 18? It’s movie night for the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

We will be screening the documentary film The Gardener, which chronicles one man’s pursuit of gardening perfection during his 60-year love affair with his 20-acre garden.

We meet every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St., from 7 to 9 p.m. Or visit us online on Facebook or at www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

For questions or comments, president contact Deb Zynomirski at 416-566-9337 or debzyn@gmail.com.

– Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Plants aren’t always thrilled with Winter Weather either

Do you dislike winter weather? Do you hate the cold that gives us the shivers, or the snow that makes driving conditions unbearable at times?

Well, our plants are not always thrilled about winter either, especially the ice and fluctuating temperatures we see as spring approaches.

The changing temperatures makes one wonder how plants can survive -33 C yet be damaged by -3 C a few months later.

It all has to do with fluctuating hardiness. Plants produce their own antifreeze, but they reach maximum hardiness in January and February. As the temperatures rise, the plants start to de-harden, and therefore when the temperatures drop again, they may suffer freeze injuries.

Damage usually shows up later in the spring. Never try to remove built up ice and snow, as this will cause more damage to your plants. Simply let it melt naturally and your trees, shrubs and plants will return to their normal forms.

Prune any broken branches as soon as possible, as clean cuts heal quicker than a ragged break. Also, be aware of using de-icers like salt near your trees and shrubs.

To avoid freeze injury, know your planting zone and select plants that are hardy in your location.

Of course, a certain rodent (not mentioning any names) has predicted an early spring, so maybe we will be safe from freeze injuries this year.

Why not join other gardeners and would-be gardeners at our next program night on March 21? Our speakers Troy Moodie, Kelly Bowers and Natalie Hahn will discuss the importance of bees.

The Dunnville Horticultural Society meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m.

Visit us online on our Facebook page or website, www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org

For questions or comments, contact president Deb Zynomirski at 416-566-9337 or debzyn@gmail.com.

– Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.