Podcast: Fall Pest Control - Jim Hole's Top 5 Tips

Are you wondering about controlling pests and insects in your yard but couldn't make it out to one of Jim's FREE talks? Well, you're in luck! Jim Hole has recorded a pest-control podcast on the Hole's Radio Network, available here.

In this episode of the Hole's Radio Network, Jim Hole chats with Brad Walker—the reluctant gardener—about the top 5 things everybody needs to know about pests and insects in the fall: where they go, how to keep them from taking over your garden, and when and how to apply your dormant spray kit (click here for details).

Play it below or download it by clicking here and, when you're done checking it out, please let us know what you think (by replying in the comments below). Also, let us know if you'd like to see more podcasts or video tutorials in the future.

Dormant oil spray kit 750px.jpg

How To Survive Thanksgiving

This weekend is a big one. For many families it’s one of the largest feasts you will have this year.

And for many people watching their waistlines, and are worried about their health, it can be a scary venture. That fear of gaining more weight, being “bad” on your diet can just add to the stress of a day with extended family and all the things that come with it even if it’s all in good fun.

Ever since I started training clients back in 2003, this weekend has always brought up the question “What do I do to survive this weekend without gaining five pounds?!?!"

Well, I’m going to share some truth with you that for some will be a nice relief, and for others you might not want to believe it and roll your eyes at me. All I ask is you read on till the end.

Here is the truth.

If you are consistently working on and making progress on the actions (eating well and exercising right) that will help you reach your goals in your normal routine life, this one feast among the other few feasts you will have each year will account for so few meals that it won’t matter.

It’s true, one meal out of your normal routine won’t make enough impact to derail your goals. So truly enjoy your food, enjoy your wine, enjoy your family, and the next day, just get back to your regular routine.

There is no need to feel guilty, no need to go on some strange “cleanse” or “detox” afterwards. I often hear about people trying extreme things to counter act a weekend like the one coming up, or beating themselves up because they cheated on diet they were on. I have news for you, that diet cheated you. It cheated you out of having a good and guilt free time at a type of event that comes around only handful of times each year. You didn’t fail at the diet or exercise program, it failed at recognizing your need for being human.

So this Thanksgiving have a good time, guilt free. Tell others your fitness coach said so. Your routine of eating smart portions, quality food and moving your body the way it was meant to move can get back on track the next morning.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Robin Mungall NSCA CPT


Podcast: Fall Bulbs - Jim Hole's Top 5 Tips

Are you wondering about planting fall bulbs but couldn't make it out to one of Jim's FREE talks? Well, you're in luck! Jim Hole has recorded a fall bulb podcast on the Hole's Radio Network, available here.

In this episode of the Hole's Radio Network, Jim Hole chats with Brad Walker—the reluctant gardener—about the top 5 things everybody needs to know about fall bulbs: from the right way to plant them, to the right time, and some secrets on what makes them bloom.

Play it below or download it by clicking here and, when you're done checking it out, please let us know what you think (by replying in the comments below). Also, let us know if you'd like to see more podcasts or video tutorials in the future.

1-2-FREE Flowering Bulb Sale

Plant now and enjoy a beautiful garden in the spring - as soon as the snow melts! Right now at Hole's, buy two packages of fall bulbs and get the third one of equal or lesser value for FREE*

17_09_06- Web Banners-22.png

*Free fall bulb will be the fall bulb with the lowest original price. EXCLUDES: all hyacinths, paperwhites, garlic bulbs & pre-planted bulb baskets. Cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. Subject to change without notice. ALL SALES ARE FINAL.

The Gremlins In Your Head, By Robin Mungall

The other day I was catching up with a friend and past client who recently has been struggling with her fitness post life-changing event.

While we were talking I could tell she was not her usual confident self.

At one point in our conversation I had to stop her and say, “hold on a moment, that’s not you talking, those are just the Gremlins in your head.”

Taken off guard she paused or a moment trying to process that statement and with a curious look she asked what the heck does that mean?

I told her that the words she's using are coming from the Gremlins in her head. Those sneaky Gremlins like to fill your thoughts and words with swears that under-mind your confidence, take away choice and create absolutes in your head making it very difficult to grow as a person, keep an open mind or have a healthy self esteem.

And without the right mindset it’s very hard to make changes in your fitness. (or anything else for that matter)

Gremlins like to trap you, and keep you down.

My friend asked me “What words am I … or is the Gremlin using?”

I told her about the 6 major swear words that Gremlins feed off of

  • Must
  • Have To
  • Should
  • Can’t
  • Ever/Never
  • Always

Of course there can be more, and the context in which you speak with these words and others can be equally troubling.

All of these words have the power to take away choice – as my friend was telling me, “I can’t workout, just not enough time in the day” she has just taken away a choice to even go for a 10 minute walk (which later on we rectified).

My friend asked me about all the statements she made where I heard the Gremlins.

“I should have never stopped working out” – she just under minded her own confidence. That was your choice, its ok if you thought it was a mistake, learn and answer the questions “what’s next for you”

“I have to lose this muffin top by June” – That absolute statement sets you up to feel unworthy and likely to give up if June 1st passes and you didn’t reach 100% of your goal.

I asked her “What if you only lose part of your muffin top by June, will you give up because you didn’t get all of the way there?”

“Of course not!” she replied …. “Oh I see what you mean, I guess I don’t have to lose my muffin top by June, but I would like to work on getting as much of it off as I can.”

That statement is a lot better, it’s not an absolute it’s about doing what she can do and of course knowing that she can keep working on it if June comes and goes and she hasn’t lost all of what she wanted she won’t give up.

Imagine stressfully saying “I have to” for weeks on end how draining that would be. Imagine what you would feel like if you got to June 1st and you didn’t do what you’ve been telling yourself you “have to” do for weeks and months on end. Imagine how that effects your mood your energy and if you don’t accomplish 100% of it imagine how that makes you feel then.

Yes Gremlins,

Everybody has them, they are often so subtle they go unnoticed but if you are aware of them you stand a chance at stopping them from ruling your thoughts and words.

This week I want you to think about your thoughts about your fitness goals, your abilities and motivations to be fit and lose weight.

If you notice any Gremlins controlling your thoughts, use that awareness to change your statements and rid yourself of the Gremlins in your head.

- Robin Mungall


"I Want You To Be A Thermostat" By Robin Mungall


I was at a conference once and the presenter said, “I want you to be a thermostat.  Not a thermometer.”
He then stopped talking. The room was quiet as everyone tried to digest what in the heck this guy was talking about.
We were pretty sure he wasn’t crazy. He was a Harvard graduate that worked with celebrities, presidents, and ultra-successful business owners.

It seemed like a long time passed before he started talking again. He gave us a hint and said, “What does a thermometer do?”
“A thermometer takes the temperature of the room,” we proudly said – feeling all smart again.
It merely goes up and down based on the outside environment. Said another way, if the temperature suddenly dropped then the mercury level in the thermometer would go down.
He then went on to tell us that a thermostat controls the environment.  In other words if we set the thermostat to 70 degrees, then the environment changes to meet the request of the thermostat.
The thermometer has no say.
The thermostat is the one in charge.
See the difference?
I loved this little analogy for many reasons and decided to share it with you because getting healthy is tough for many people.
They try, and fail.
They try again, and fail.
Over time they lose hope. 
They get frustrated. They feel like a failure. They think that it’s out of their reach.  They think there’s a secret pill that will come out one day.
And there is a secret – kind of.  It’s to be a thermostat.
I have be honest, I never thought I’d tell someone that!
A huge part of permanent weight loss is a mind shift from what you’ve done before, to what is proven to work.  And what’s proven to work isn’t sexy and flashy.
Believe me, I wish I could just sell you a pill that made you drop all the extra fat that you don’t want and relieve all aches and pains.  But that’s just not reality.
Part of the mind shift is made easier when you have someone to help you on the journey.  Someone to carefully guide you through the mine fields of self-doubt, confusion, frustration, and giving up when things don’t seem to be going as you want.
Leaders, a more reasonable term for thermostats, set goals, follow through, and get the support they need to reach those goals efficiently.
So which will you be from now on a thermometer or a thermostat? 

-Robin Mungall


"Should Compost Be Applied To Gardens In The Fall?" By Jim Hole

I was speaking at the Compost Council of Canada’s ‘Organics Recycling’ Conference in Calgary on Monday. It was great show and I learned a lot about what is happening in the world of composting highlighted by the opening of the City of Calgary’s massive new composting facility.
Yet, while these enormous are impressive, the conversion of organic "waste" to compost always operates at a microscopic level. A presentation on the microbiology of soils and composting reminded me that healthy soils are teeming with life. For example, a single teaspoon of soil holds more individual microorganisms than then the total number of people on earth! And one quarter of all of the earth’s species live in soil.

 So when you enrich the soil in your yard with compost, an incredibly diverse, an huge group of beneficial microbes team-up to improve your soil quality. The result is the plants in your yard are much healthier, more productive, and more resilient.

I’m often asked if compost should be applied in the fall to gardens. The answer is a resounding yes! Compost should be worked into the soil in the fall to increase soil organic matter so that it is available for plants to utilize first thing in the spring.
I like to add a 5 cm layer of SeaSoil compost to my garden in the fall. Even if I don’t find the time to work it into the soil, it’s rich, brown colour looks great as a "mulch". Besides, surface applied composts will still eventually work their way below the soil surface.
Remember that soils never rest. Soils lose organic matter if it’s not added regularly. As the saying goes, "nature abhors a vacuum" which, with respect to soil, translates to "nature abhors bare soil". Adding your own compost or great alternative composts, like SeaSoil, to your garden keeps Mother Nature happy!

-Jim Hole

This Feels Really Good... By Robin Mungall


One of the feelings I love the most is feeling accomplished.  Like when I cross off a bunch of things on my To Do list, or when I start a new house project and actually finish it.

There’s a sense of pride.  It’s knowing that I did the work and the reward is worth it.

Actually, it’s one of the things that drives me.  If I really take the time to analyze why I do certain things, it’s because ultimately, I want to feel accomplished.

And I don’t mean that in a snobby way – like look at all of my degrees and certifications – but rather in a way that feels “done” to me.

In the health and fitness world a lot of programs focus on the big goal – losing x amount of pounds.

And I’m definitely a fan of having big goals because they are our lighthouses.  They give us something to head towards and keep us on track through what can be a tumultuous journey.

But if your ultimate goal will take you a year or 6 months – or even a month – to accomplish… well that’s a bit too long to work towards something without feeling accomplished.

This is why most people lose motivation after a week or two on a new program.  The motivation is gone because there was no sense of accomplishment.

One of the reasons we feel good after crossing something off our To Do list is because we did the task and it’s DONE.

But as I already mentioned, for most people on a health journey you’re never really “done” in a day or a week.

See the problem?

This is why I like to celebrate other goals with my clients.  For example, maybe the goal is to come in 3 days a week.  We celebrate each visit and we celebrate at the end of the week too.

Or maybe I’m working closely with a client to ultimately eliminate sugar from their diet.  Maybe we start with eliminating sugar after 5pm.  We start with something we can do and say “done”.

This is where we feel accomplished.

I’m not sure if you ever ran or walked in a 5K or something like that before, but generally every half mile or mile there is a marker letting you know how much of the course has been completed.

Yes these markers are placed here as a general FYI, but they also serve as a reminder of what you’ve already accomplished.

Here’s my point: having ultimate goals is great and needed, but we also need the smaller goals too.  We need to feel accomplished on a daily basis.

We crave this feeling.  It makes us feel good.

The old adage about a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step comes to mind.  There’s a lot of meaning in that little sentence and one of the meanings is small goals are needed.

I would like you to set a small and specific actionable goal right now. What small goal will you accomplish today that will put you one step ahead in your health and fitness?

-Robin Mungall


Try "Forcing" Fall Bulbs For Better Results, By Jim Hole

I think ‘fall bulbs’ is a rather confusing term for many gardeners. It seems to imply that fall bulbs bloom in fall when, in fact, they are just planted in fall so that they will bloom the following spring.


I think "fall bulbs" is a rather confusing term for many gardeners. It seems to imply that fall bulbs bloom in fall when, in fact, they are just planted in fall so that they will bloom the following spring.

But, from a bulb’s perspective at least, they really don’t care about the names we humans give to our seasons. Their goal is to bloom when the weather is good so that they can flower, produce seeds, and populate the planet. If you provide them with a growing environment that meets their needs, they will happily bloom any time of year. In fact, any one of us can manipulate a bulb’s growth cycle, if we so choose. The technique is called ‘forcing’ and it’s not that tough to do. Plus, it offers some fun.

A bit of science

Before you can force a bulb you need to understand a bit about what they are and what makes them tick. The term ‘bulb’ is properly applied to bulbous structures common to plants like tulips and onions. But it has evolved into a generic description for all large, fleshy, subterranean structures that plants produce to endure adverse climatic conditions like drought and cold. Corms, rhizomes and tubers are bulb-like structures but aren’t true bulbs. Still, unless you are writing a botany exam, I think it’s OK to call them all bulbs.

Forcing bulbs to bloom out of season is easier to accomplish if you think of them as ‘biocomputers’ that are continuously undergoing internal chemical changes as they monitor their environment. For example, if you plant a tulip into your garden in the fall, it will generate roots and a very short shoot and then stop growing while it waits for the next round of environmental signals before resuming growth and eventually blooming. For tulips, it’s the accumulation of a minimum number of hours of frosty temperatures that allows the plants to flower, once the warm weather returns. Forcing is little more than placing bulbs in a cold spot like a fridge or unheated garage for several weeks and then warming the bulbs up to force blooming.

For some tulip species, 14 weeks of cold is sufficient to trigger a flowering response come spring. That’s why it’s not all that rare to see tulips poking up near house foundations during an extended warm spell in February. The bulbs have ‘accumulated’ all of the cold that they need and think it’s spring. Apparently, they don’t understand the Canadian prairies very well.

In warmer climates like California gardeners aren’t ‘blessed’ with winter cold, so they must refrigerate bulbs if they want to enjoy their blooms. I’ve talked to a number of garden centre owners in California who sell tulips to gardeners and provide them with instructions on chilling bulbs in refrigerators. Once the bulbs have had sufficient fridge chilling, they bloom just as beautifully as those that are grown outside.

What should you do?

Growing my own plants at home, I’ve forced bulbs — some planned, some unplanned. On the planned side of things, in September I plant tulips into my pots and then leave them there until October before moving them into my unheated garage for the winter. In late March I move them back to my deck for a beautiful floral display when my trees are still leafless and my lawn is completely brown.

But this past winter I forgot that I had left a package of ‘Canada 150’ tulips in my garage. So in April, I just pulled the ‘forced’ tulips out of the garage and planted them in containers on my deck and I had a beautiful display of red and white flowers by early May. I didn’t let on to anyone that this patriotic display wasn’t planned.

Now don’t forget that forcing is also a great technique for growing tulips in a glass jars. No pots, soils or gardens are necessary. You just need some chilled bulbs, a clear vase, some decorative rocks and, of course, some water in the base. If you are a bit of a rebel you could chill the tulips in your fridge and have them blooming in glass vases for Christmas.

Here are a few final tips on forcing. Check the requirements on your bulb species. Some need chilling, some don’t like it, and some already come pre-chilled by the grower. Also, don’t put your bulbs into a freezer because it’s too cold. You’ll need a fridge or a cool (but not extremely cold) garage. And don’t forget that kitchens and living rooms are far too warm for ‘growing out’ the forced bulbs. Cool indoor temperatures are always best to prevent soft, floppy, weak growth once the bulbs are poking through the soil.

Planting bulbs directly into the garden is still a great way to go, but think about saving a few bulb for some forcing. It might just redefine the world of gardening for you.

- Jim Hole

Not All Grass Seed Is Created Equally By Jim Hole

Many people believe all lawn grasses are created equally. Nothing could be further from the truth.


For example, many packages of lawn grass seeds come as a mixture of different species and varieties. Two types of grass seed that dominate these blends are perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass. Perennial ryegrass grows quickly, but is not particularly hardy; nor is it long lived on the prairies, but it germinates rapidly and emerges quickly from the soil. Kentucky bluegrass is the premium lawn grass for our region, but it is much slower to pop out of the soil.
Still, perennial ryegrass is good as a “nurse” grass to protect Kentucky bluegrass until it gets established. You just don’t want too much perennial ryegrass in a blend. Perennial ryegrass seeds are also much larger than Kentucky bluegrass seeds. In fact, a kilogram of perennial ryegrass contains about 500,000 seeds, whereas a kilogram of Kentucky bluegrass contains a whopping 3,000,000 seeds! Therefore, you can see that buying lawn seed strictly by weight is not a great strategy.
The bottom line is that a bit of perennial ryegrass is good for helping to protect your Kentucky bluegrass, but a lot of perennial ryegrass is a waste of money.
September is a great month for sowing lawn grass seeds, so choose your grass seed carefully! We recommend Manderley Seed. Find it here, at Hole's Greenhouses.

Hand-picked Chokecherries, House-made Jelly

"I gave a jar of Hole's Chokecherry Jelly to my new neighbours & they LOVED it! Even their 4-year-old couldn't resist!"

Great gift idea for teachers!

The Glasshouse Bistro has preserved over 100 jars of Chokecherry Jelly with hand-picked Choke Cherries- straight from the Hole's Farm! Give a farm-fresh gift today – plus pick one up for yourself!

That's not all the Glasshouse Bistro has to offer...make your reservations online at www.glasshousebistro.ca

For questions or dining room reservations booked less than 1 hour in advance, or for parties larger than 6, please call 780-651-7361.

Lois E. Hole Public Elementary School Now Open!!

In Lois Hole's own words, this is what inclusive, public education meant to her:

"Schools work best when they are inclusive, when they throw open their doors for all kinds of students, regardless of culture, religion, disabilities, gender, or economic background. A learning environment made of a wide variety of students gives them the best chance to learn not just math, science, English, and the other regular subjects: it helps them learn about each other, and those lessons are perhaps the most important of all. 

"This district has much to be proud of, and I know that it will continue to serve future students well. It must, for only by ensuring a steady flow of educated, well-rounded, tolerant, critical thinkers can our society continue to grow and prosper." - Lois Hole

We wish all of the students and teachers at Lois E. Hole Elementary a full and exciting school year!

Students Shop & Save!


With school starting up again, Hole's Greenhouses is now offering students a 10% discount on indoor plants. With their air cleaning and oxygen producing capabilities, studies show that plants boost attention spans and increase productivity – making them your best study-buddy yet!

Or even better: pick up an indoor plant for your new teacher. A plant in the classroom is a gift to your whole class!

Study better than every before... just add plants!

*In-store only. Must present valid student ID.

Not sure where to start?

Here are a few of our favourite indoor plants that thrive in low light environments:

Snake Plant

The Snake Plant, or Sansevieria, is a hardy indoor plant you can grow just about anywhere, making it one of the best houseplants out there. Plus, Snake Plants are great air purifiers!

Buy this plant now –>



The genus Calathea includes some of the most beautiful and striking tropical foliage plants in the world. Thriving in low to medium light and high humidity, these plants are great for the kitchen or bathroom!

Buy this plant now –>


Peace Lily

The Peace Lily is a resilient household plant with amazing air cleaning capabilities, so much so, that it has secured a spot on NASA’s list of “Top 10 Household Air Cleaning Plants.” Peace Lilies clean all 5 of the most common household toxins in the air!

Buy this plant now –>


Homemade "Grass Clippings" Veggie Dip

How can we ensure our kids (or adults!) are eating their vegetables, and enjoying them too? One thing is certain: everyone loves to dip garden fresh veggies. Try this homemade dip recipe to ensure you are getting the garden-fresh nutrients you need – without the added sugars & preservatives of store-bought dips!


1. Mix equal parts mayonnaise & plain yogurt. For a healthier option, substitute low fat mayonnaise and 0% fat plain yogurt! 

2. Next, add the juice of ½ a lemon. Add more or less to adjust recipe to your personal taste!

3. Add ½ to ¾ teaspoon sea salt.

4. Cut in an assortment of your favourite fresh herbs. We recommend chives, dill, French tarragon and a bit of Italian parsley.

Herb scissors are a phenomenal kitchen tool for easy cutting of any type of fresh herb.

5. Eat fresh, although you may store leftovers covered in fridge for up to 7 days.

Also great on steamed beets and zucchini pancakes!