Dunnville Horticulture Society

Parsley on your doorstep

The photo shows a pair of boots which were discarded because the soles developed large cracks, making them useless for wear but providing the much-needed good drainage for growing parsley. Italian is in the left boot and curled in the right. By placing them near a sunny window, they could be taken indoors for winter. —Haldimand Press photo by Lester C. Fretz.

Don’t discard your boots! They make a good container for growing parsley on your balcony or doorstep.

Parsley is very easy to grow and having it in an easily accessible location makes it easy to grab a few sprigs to add flavour to your cooking or appearance to a presentation.

There are two kinds of parsley. The curly leaf parsley texture is good in a salad with a mild flavour. Flat leaf or Italian has a stronger flavour, making it a chef’s choice for cooking.

Although parsley can be grown in the garden, it’s convenient and unique grown in a container.

Fill the container, which should have good drainage, with quality soil. Soaking the seed for 24 hours speeds up germination.

Sprinkle the seed on the soil and cover lightly. Place in a sunny location; however, it will tolerate some shade.

Continual picking will induce ongoing growth. Fertilize occasionally. For the best flavour, pick early in the morning when oils in the leaves are stronger. Parsley will grow for two years, however the second year it grows a stem with a flower.

Thrift stores are an excellent place to pick up a suitable container for growing parsley. Using your imagination will result in an unusual and practical way to have parsley right on your doorstep!

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

To The Haldimand Press

By Deb Zynomirski, DHS President

DUNNVILLE—The dog days of summer are finally here, and I for one couldn’t be happier! After such a cool and rainy spring, the sunshine and warm days are making for a bumper crop of weeds this year. Take a few minutes every few days to do some weeding, and it keeps this chore from feeling too overwhelming.

While the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) takes a break from meetings over the summer, we are still actively working in the town beds. Our June Program Night was a lesson in backyard birding courtesy of Loretta Shields of the Smithville Garden Club. A lovely gourd birdhouse created by Angela Latham was won by Frank Phillips. And the Potting Shed donated a beautiful lavender planter, won by Darlene Buscis.

Watch this summer for big changes to the old Floral Clock. The old mechanism will be replaced by a wonderful storyboard depicting the history and significance of the Floral Clock in Dunnville.

Also, mark your calendars for September 14, for our members-only Fall Garden Tour. In addition, we will be hosting a grand opening for the newly-rehabilitated Thompson Creek Eco Centre on September 18. Our Program Night on September 19 will feature professional photographer Mark Zelinski, showcasing his fantastic photos and providing tips for us to learn how to photograph plants, flowers, and landscapes. Finally, September 27 features DHS hosting our District 9 Ontario Horticultural Association delegates for an exciting Fall Forum. We will be celebrating our 90th anniversary, and the Forum gives us a chance to share with the attendees the many projects and accomplishments we have completed over the past years. Looks like a very busy fall is on the horizon!

So, come on out to our next Program Night! The DHS meets at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m. Or visit us online at our Facebook page or at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

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

Zucchini: an easy crop to grow

An exceptionally great plant to interest children in gardening is the zucchini, a member of the squash family.

Because zucchini are good sized plants that produce quickly and prolifically, they enable young gardeners to enjoy quick success. In addition, their large seeds make it easy for young children to plant.

Seeds can be sown indoors four weeks before the last frost or they can be planted directly into the soil when it becomes warm. The soil should be rich and well drained. The seed (one per hill) should be planted with its pointed end down. The hills should be 1 metre apart.

Picking promotes growth, as does removing dying or diseased leaves. Rarely is pollination a problem, however it can be assisted by removing the male flower, which has a long stem, by pulling back the petals to expose the stamen and inserting it into a female flower, which has a short stem.

To maintain production until frost, plant only a couple hills initially and then plant additional seeds when the first planting begins to flower. Zucchini thrive with full sun, weekly watering (2 ½ cm) and monthly feeding.

The attached photo was taken on Canada Day, 2019. The seed was planted indoors on May 9 and transplanted to the garden on May 16. A plastic bottle was placed over the plant to serve as a greenhouse until the weather warmed.

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