weed control

Weed Control Made Easy

Weed Control Made Easy

It's that time of the year where weed problems start to show. Not only are they an eye sore, but they are a pain to get rid of. Whether it be in the garden bed, near pathways or even in your planters, picking weeds one by one can cause quite the headache. However when weed control is done right, it can be very effective in minimizing or eliminating weed growth altogether.

Stirrup Hoe

A stirrup hoe gets the weeding job done efficiently, effectively and with the least amount of back bending. It is a band of steel attached to a handle and is very proficient at cutting out weeds with much less effort than the conventional big "broad bladed" hoe.

Wait until the top of your soil is dry, and then simply run the stirrup hoe along the top 1-2 centimetres of the soil wherever you see weeds and it will effortlessly pull the weeds out with a gentle tilling of the soil.

The stirrup hoe is easy to manoeuvre around bushes and your perennials, annuals, and vegetables. It is good practice to use the stirrup hoe once a week, when the weeds are still small and easy to pull out of the soil. By staying on top of your weeding and getting them while they're small, you won't even need to bag most small weeds up. Most tiny, pulled-out weeds can be left on top of the soil, where they will quickly dry up and die.

Path Clear

Path Clear is an effective spray for killing annual weed seedlings. You can also use this product for control of grass and weeds on driveways, sidewalks, patios, gravel and more.

Visible effects occur after treatment, and actively growing susceptible weeds are controlled within 1-2 daysPath Clear leaves no harmful residue in the soil. Available in a 709 mL ready-to-use spray bottle, it is convenient and suitable for small problem areas.

Hemp Mulch

Hole's Hemp Mulch will allow water and nutrients into your garden soil, will help you cut down on your watering by keeping the moisture in your soil and it will act as a physical barrier to keep most weeds out of your soil.

  • Keeps your garden neat and tidy.

  • Aids in moisture retention and weed control.

  • Completely biodegradable, till into garden soil in fall.

  • Dust free, light weight and rot resistant.

  • Fast growing renewable resource grown on Canadian prairies.

Watch our video on how to use hemp mulch here.

Selective Herbicides

Selective (Broadleaf) herbicides like Weed B Gon are generally sprayed on and absorbed by the big, broad leaves of weeds like dandelions, and eventually enough herbicide is absorbed by the leaves to kill the whole plant.

This product utilizes the natural power of iron to deliver visible results within hours–tackling dandelions, English daisies and more without harming your grass. This convenient, ready-to-use format is ideal for those not wanting to mix their own weed control solutions. Simply spray, and watch your dandelions go away!

Non-Selective Herbicides

Non-selective herbicides will kill all plants, broadleaf or not. They're good for dandelions, grasses, and chickweed to name a few. While they are great for controlling chickweed or quackgrass, be careful when applying them near lawns or gardens. Because of their non-selectivity, they need to be applied carefully so that none of it drifts via air or water currents onto plants you'd rather keep alive (like your tomatoes or lawn!)

Bye Bye Weed is a great non-selective herbicide. Remember, this will kill any plant, including lawn grass, so use it away from your lawn and only where you need to.

Tomato 101

Tomato 101

By Jim Hole

There’s no shock as to why tomatoes are so well-loved. Whether it be salsas, sauces or salads, their versatility is unmatched by other garden vegetables. Tomatoes are actually quite simple to grow with the right technique, patience and care. This “Tomato 101” will send you on your way to producing a bountiful yield of this summer favourite.

Varieties

With the vast number of tomato varieties, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. For cherry tomatoes, some of my favourites include Sun Gold, Minimato and Rapunzel. For eating tomatoes, Primo Red, Mortgage Lifter and Stupice. And of course for cooking, be sure to try San Marzano, Mamma Mia and Sunrise Sauce. Stock up on your favourite varieties soon–as many sell out fast!

Soil

Proper soil is crucial for a successful tomato yield. It may be tempting to purchase the “cheap stuff” at your big box stores, but these brands lack the richness needed for tomatoes to thrive. Soils lose organic matter if it is not added back in regularly, so my recommendation is using a 1:1 ratio of Sea Soil and Jim’s Potting Soil. Avoid using manure in your soil as the salt content per bag is inconsistent. More often than not, you will end up scorching your plants and be forced to start over.

Fertilizer

Tomatoes are heavy feeders, which means it is important to fertilize them regularly. I recommend using Garden Pro Tomato Food (5-10-5). This granular fertilizer is also supplemented with calcium to prevent “blossom-end rot”. Simply mix Garden Pro Tomato Food in with your soil and water thoroughly. Another product I like to use on my tomatoes is Epsom Salts. Epsom Salts contain magnesium and can be applied every couple of weeks.

Watering

We often have customers come to the greenhouse with wilted leaves, brittle stems and yellowing tips. After a quick look, I know they aren’t watering enough. I use the analogy of filling up your car with gas to help explain the importance of watering. When you go to the gas station, you don’t put $5 worth in your car, drive till it’s empty, fill up $5 worth again and so on. The same goes for watering your tomato plants. When you water, ensure that you water the entire root zone completely with a good soaking.

Weed Control

There is nothing more frustrating than pouring time and energy into your garden, only to have it scattered with weeds. Not only are they an eye sore, but they also draw the essential nutrients out of your soil, leaving nothing for your tomatoes. Before you plant, I recommend encouraging the weeds to grow–watering like you would for any garden. Once they are a mature size, spray the soil with Bye Bye Weed to kill off any vegetation that is present. Wait 7 days, and plant your garden as you normally would. NEVER APPLY BYE BYE WEED TO YOUR GARDEN PLANTS. IT IS RESTRICTED TO APPLICATION ON WEEDS ONLY. Pulling weeds throughout the summer is an obvious technique for eliminating weeds, but spraying saves you the headache altogether. 

Pruning

Tomatoes come in two growth types–determinate and indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes usually grow wider, do not need pruning and grow well in a cage. Whereas indeterminate tomatoes grow tall, require staking and pruning, but usually have higher yields than determinate varieties. Pruning indeterminate tomatoes is quite easy–simply pinch off the shoots or “suckers” that grow out from the stems. This redirects energy to the fruit of the plant rather than the shoots. In turn, this produces much larger, healthier tomatoes. Watch our video on how to prune tomatoes here: www.holesonline.com/blog/how-to-prune-tomato-plants.

 

Still not feeling quite confident on growing your own tomatoes? Be sure to check out our e-book on tomatoes at www.holesonline.com/ebooks/tomato-favourites.

Q: What causes black or brown rotten spots on the bottom of my tomatoes?

A: This condition is called “blossom-end rot” and it is caused by water stress and calcium deficiency due to heavy clay soil or irregular/inadequate watering. Watering regularly is key to preventing blossom-end rot. Even if the soil contains lots of calcium, without sufficient water, the plant cannot absorb essential minerals.