Gardening Tips

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8 Steps for Great Garlic!

Garlic likes:
• To be planted in the fall
• Full sun
• High organic matter in soil

Garlic doesn’t like:
• The same spot two years in a row
• Tight spacing
• Weed competition

Accessorizing Your Garden

Accessorizing your garden is a great way to bring your outdoor style to the next level. There are three main components to stunning landscape design:

  • The hard, constructed landscape - paths, driveway, fence, gate, pergola, gazebo
  • The soft landscape - plant materials, lawn
  • Decorative accessories - wind chimes, garden plaques, water features, bird bath
Algae & The Water Garden

All water gardens have algae but too much algae can cause the water to become cloudy and turn green. Water naturally contains many elements, mineral salts, and nitrates. When sunlight hits the water, the temperature increases and evaporation takes place. This is compounded every time more water is added. Algae feed on the salts and nitrates and proliferate when concentrations are increased.

Amazing Amaryllis

Amaryllis is a flowering plant that is available in the fall for indoor cultivation and is truly spectacular for the sheer size of the bulb, the lily-like flowers and long, strap-like leaves. They are easy to grow and with proper care will bloom again in future years.

Animals in the Garden

Many gardeners share their gardens with animals - some welcome, some not.


Annuals provide vibrant colour, shape, and texture to any garden.
With proper care, annuals will flower continuously until frost arrives. You’ll never tire of choosing the perfect bloom for your beds or container gardens, as there are several varieties of annuals to choose from.

Ash Tree Alternatives

Due to the Emerald Ash Borer, Ash trees are not available in Ontario at this time. Sheridan Nurseries recommends these alternatives when planning your garden or landscape. These alternative trees will make beautiful specimens or focal points and add value to your property.

Read more about the EAB and what cities are doing to restore the urban canopy.ue to the Emerald Ash Borer, Ash trees are not available in Ontario at this time. Sheridan Nurseries recommends the following alternatives when planning your garden or landscape.
These alternative trees will make beautiful specimens or focal points and add value to your property.

Attracting Birds to Your Garden

Birds feed on seed, berries, fruit, nuts, and insects. Some of these things can be provided by plant material in your own garden. Look for the bird symbol beside plants in our Garden Guide to quickly identify special ornamental plants that provide these materials.

Attracting Hummingbirds & Butterflies

If you are planning a new garden with lots of flowering plant material, why not include plants that will attract some of nature’s smallest miracles: the ruby-throated hummingbird or a beautiful butterfly?

Balcony Gardening

Live in a high rise building? Your balcony can still make it possible to have a beautiful outdoor living space.


Originally, the term Bonsai simply meant ‘a plant grown in a container’. Today, Bonsai means ‘miniaturized plant, shrub, or tree in a planter’. This miniaturization process is achieved by planting in a smaller than normal container and by judicious pruning to make the plant resemble its larger counterpart in nature. The art of Bonsai was developed long ago in the Far East where it was considered an expression of the harmony between heaven and earth, man and nature.

Bromeliads & Air Plants

Bromeliads and air plants are distinctly different and desirable because of their striking foliage and unusual flowers. Both groups come from the same large family of plants known as Bromeliaceae, which includes pineapples and Spanish moss as well.

Bulbs for All Seasons

Learn how to create the perfect growing environment for bulbs.

Caring for Your Christmas Plants

There are many different plants used around the world during the festive season of Christmas. Follow this guide to properly care for your Christmas plants and leave them feeling merry.

Cattleya Orchids

Cattleya orchids are native to the Americas, particularly to the tropical regions, where they thrive in high humidity and abundant light. The colour range is vast and exotic; blooms can be 13–18 cm (5–7”) across in white, yellow, orange, purple, pink, blue, green, and red. Cattleyas bloom in spring, fall, or winter, depending on the variety. 


Clematis is one of the most popular flowering vines. They bloom in almost every colour; flowers can be single or double ranging from small to large. Their shape can be tubular, star-like, flat open discs or nodding bells. Depending on the cultivar, flowering can take place in spring and again in late summer, all summer, or in late summer through fall.


Companion Planting

Each garden is unique, there are factors that should go into consideration while planning your garden, including sun exposure, weather, pollinators, insect population, soil quality, water supply and harvest planning. Plants can help each other by improving soil nutrients, attracting natural predators, and repelling insects.  Companion planting is a safe, natural way to garden.


Homeowners can do their part by recycling most yard and kitchen waste. Composting is a process in which material can be turned into a nutrient-rich soil conditioner often referred to as black gold. The addition of compost to soil encourages plants to develop a deeper, more fibrous system that makes it more vigorous, productive, and drought resistant.  Healthy roots depend on air, water, and readily available nutrients.

Cut Flowers From Your Garden

Cut flowers can be an elegant and aesthetic addition to your home and it’s easy to create a unique flower arrangement right from your garden.

Deciduous Trees

Trees are an important part of landscaping. They add beauty and a sense of structure to any garden, street, commercial property, or public space. 

Dormant Spraying

Dormant spraying combines horticulture oil and lime sulphur to kill overwintering insects (such as scale and mites), insect eggs, and diseases on certain hardy landscape plants.

Drought-Tolerant Plants

All plants require water, light, and nutrients to grow; however, there are some plants that can go for extended periods of time without watering (once established). These are what we call “drought-tolerant” plants. Similarly, there is a relatively new concept in landscape design known as “xeriscaping,” which is the practice of choosing plants that will survive on only the natural water that is available to them. These plants should be grouped together in a dry, sunny area of your garden.

Dwarf Plants for Small Spaces

When choosing plants for your small space, there are a few things you need to know to ensure you have success.

Every Plant Has a Place

As homeowners, we can help the environment by planting non-invasive garden species. Find out more about invasive plants, what the dangers are, and how to recognize them.

Fall Gardening Tips

Fall is the perfect time for planting, while the ground is still warm and the soil is still moist. It is also an ideal opportunity to prepare your lawn and plants for the coming cold winter months, ensuring your garden is healthy and full of life the coming spring.

If you're not sure where to start, take a look at our fall gardening tips for how to maintain a healthy lawn, what to plant for spring colour, and how to keep your garden exploding with fall colour until early winter.

Fertilizer for Healthy Plants

All plants require light, air, water, and nutrients to grow. As they mature, plants often use up the naturally occurring nutrients in the soil around the root zone. These nutrients need to be regularly replaced in order for the plants to continue to grow. The plant food that gardeners provide is called fertilizer.


Like sequencing flowering shrubs and perennials that bloom from spring through fall, fragrant plants can also be a delightful surprise to our sense of smell. Place the earliest fragrant specimens near the house so you can fully appreciate them both inside and outside your living space.

Gardening in Moist Areas

Soil that doesn’t drain properly can lead to major frustration along with struggling or dying plants. Drainage can be improved by installing weeping tile, dumping quantities of sand and gravel, or building raised beds. Many plants will tolerate dampness and thrive beautifully, just choose wisely. 

Gardening With Perennial Flowers

Gardeners love perennial flowers for their infinite variety, their hardiness, and the ease with which you can propagate more. They return each year so they are also cost efficient. Learn how to select what’s right for you.

Ground Covers

Ground covers can be used anywhere that bare soil needs to be covered. Most often they replace areas of lawn where grass won’t grow. They can be used on slopes where erosion is a problem, replace grass grown on a slope when mowing is difficult. Groundcover can be used with small gardens, compacted soil and shade for city dwellers. Ground covers are being used more because of their colour and offer interesting texture compared to grass alone.

Growing Rhododendrons

In order for Rhododendrons to thrive in colder climates they need:

  • Porous or acidic soil.
  • Planted in an area that receives half a day of sun in mid to late afternoon. Rhodos are tolerant for part shade tolerant but won't thrive in heavy shade.
Growing Roses

To determine what kind of rose will serve you best; consider flower shapes, sizes, colours, fragrance and how much maintenance it will require.


Growing Vegetables

The list of benefits to growing your own vegetables is so extensive that we often can’t resist the notion of growing our own. Who doesn’t like saving money on groceries, eating fresh, nutrient-dense food, and developing a strong sense of pride? Small space? No problem! Veggies can be grown in containers too.

Growing Your Own Fruit

The decision to grow your own fruit is an easy one because it’s delicious and economical but there are other considerations to take into account.

  • Ensure you have enough space to grow your fruit trees. For most fruit you have to plant two trees to cross pollinate. This means that to grow pears you need two different kinds of pear trees. An apple tree will not pollinate a pear.
  • All fruit needs at least 6 hours of direct sun per day and well-drained soil amended with peat moss, manure, or compost.
  • Fruit trees require an ongoing spray program to control insects and disease if you wish to produce a healthy crop of fruit that is edible.
Hanging Baskets

When you add annuals to your garden in May, you want continuous colour through summer and into the fall. Chances are you love to place brimming pots at the front door, on the deck or balcony, on steps, around a swimming pool, even in your garden beds. Hanging baskets add a very significant splash of colour above ground. They can decorate an empty garage, wall, fence, porch or a covered entrance. All a hanging basket requires is a hanging device from which it can be suspended. Wall brackets are available in many attractive styles; they can be found in either wrought iron or wood that is left natural or stained.

Hardy Plants in Year-Round Containers

For those with limited space and want to have an attractive garden year-round on a deck or balcony, plant only the hardiest small trees and shrubs in containers. The trick is to use the right plants, the right type of planter, the appropriate soil, regular watering and proper placement of plants.

Herb Gardening

Growing herbs is a fun part of gardening!

Their fresh taste in cooking is incomparable to dry herbs from the supermarket.
They are easy to grow, and you can plant them in indoors or outdoors.

Herbs have also gained great respect for their medicinal properties in recent years.


Adding plants to your home makes for an aesthetic interior and increases the amount of oxygen in a room. 

How to Design Your Garden

Every garden is different because it reflects the personality and taste of the designer. You can read books, magazines, take classes, to learn how differentiate between formal and informal styles, herbaceous borders, Japanese and contemporary styles; the ideas are endless! The following design principles and elements are intended to help you put it all together a cohesive, beautiful, and satisfying landscape design.

How to Evaluate Your Garden Needs

Whether starting a garden from scratch or renovating one you need to ask some important questions.

  • How do you intend to use the space?
  • What is your budget? For mature gardens you need an objective eye to determine what can be kept and what should be eliminated. Sometimes standing on the other side of the street will give you the best perspective for evaluating the front.
How to Set up Your Pond

These tips water features should be located in an area that receives a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day. Learn how to set up your pond with our guide!

Integrated Pest Management

Many questions have been raised concerning the widespread use of pesticides (insecticides for insect control, fungicides for disease, and herbicides for weeds). What is the risk to the environment, to birds and animals, to beneficial insects, and to humans, particularly children? To replace traditional means of pest control, a new attitude is gaining acceptance and being put into practice. This is called Integrated Pest Management or IPM.

Lady Slipper Orchids

Lady slipper orchids are found in southern Asia, in habitats ranging from hot jungles to cool mountain peaks. They are a semi-terrestrial species, growing in rich humus and other material on the forest floor, as well as on cliffs in pockets of humus and occasionally in trees. 

Lawn Care

Keep your grass healthy and green with these lawn-care tips.

Living Christmas Trees & Other Holiday Ideas

Potted Christmas Trees are a nice alternative to artificial or cut Christmas trees. Bring your potted live evergreen in your home for the Christmas holidays. Once the holidays are over, plant outdoors for years of enjoyment. There are a few key things to keep in mind if you would like to make your potted Christmas tree a permanent part of your garden.

Low-Maintenance Gardening

Not all gardens are high maintenance; learn how to create a low maintenance garden you can enjoy all year.

Making Your Garden Bee-Friendly

Through pollination, bees play a critical role in the production of seeds in most flowering plants. Together we can help create a welcome place for them!


The maple is one of North America's most versatile and beloved deciduous trees.

Native Plants & Wildflowers

One of the delights of our conservation areas, provincial and national parks are the plants in their natural habitats. These native plants have evolved to survive in the natural areas of these particular regions.

Plants such as white pine, sugar maple, red oak, paper birch, or hemlock evoke a distinct image of eastern Canada.

Learn how to use native plants and wildflowers in your outdoor space.

Oncidium Orchids

Oncidium orchids are found in the warm, temperate regions of the Americas from Florida to Argentina. The varieties most often sold at Sheridan Nurseries produce long, arching sprays of exquisite yellow flowers, often speckled with an assortment of colours including brown and burgundy. 


Orchids are the largest family of flowering plants. The prime attraction for growing orchids is the diverse and exotic blooms. Contrary to popular belief, not all orchids are temperamental; most orchids can be grown anywhere, provided that their basic needs are being met.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses continue to draw attention for their diversity of colour, form, and texture.

Overwintering Water Garden Plants & Fish

Take the appropriate steps to ensure your water plants and fish overwinter properly.

Patio Tropicals

Container gardening has become increasingly popular in recent years because it can be done in the smallest of spaces and brightens up every patio. Gardeners everywhere are expressing themselves with colour and an ever expanding range of plants including tropicals.

Perfect Annual Containers

The best thing about containers is you can put them anywhere, move them around if you need a change, and fill them with different displays for each season.

Phalaenopsis Orchids

Phalaenopsis is considered one of the easiest orchids to grow. They are native to the tropics of Asia and Australia. The flat flowers that appear along a graceful, arching stem resemble hovering moths, giving the plant its nickname “moth” orchid.

Planting, Dividing, & Repotting Water Garden Plants

Aquatic plants are plants that have adapted to living in aquatic environments and oxygenate your pond.

Pruning Practices

When a plant grows too large for its space or is blocking the view from a window, it’s time to remove or restrict unwanted growth. Some plants need a pruning in fall or spring to help promote new growth or higher bloom counts.


Rock Gardens

This form of gardening originates from England and conjures an image of rocks combined with plants often on a slope. The slope itself can be naturally occurring or constructed, just as the stones can be natural outcroppings or brought in. Generally, the effect is one of plant material cascading down an incline of some degree with rocks holding the embankment in place and setting off the individual character of each plant. The alternative to this “natural” look, when a change in elevation is the case, is constructing retaining walls and terraces that look more formal by comparison.

Shade Gardening

Most homeowners have some degree of shade somewhere on their property whether it’s from buildings, a fence, or mature trees. Since shade varies from heavy, where no direct sunlight penetrates, to partial or dappled, you need to observe what kind of shade you are dealing with and plant accordingly.


Shrubs for All Seasons

Shrubs that offer colour, form and texture all season long will make a great addition to your garden.

Starting Plants From Seed

Nothing is as rewarding as growing your own plants from seed.

Versatile Evergreens

Year-round interest is reason enough to include evergreens in the landscape, but their range of colour and forms makes them irresistible.


Vines for All Purposes

Vines are great as they make a strong vertical statement and can be used in any garden. They can be a quick disguise as well as add interest to other flowers, and can even be used as a ground cover for large areas that need quick coverage.

Water Garden Maintenance

Installing a water garden does not necessarily mean endless hours of work per week; learn how to maintain your pond with these tips.

Water Plants

A water garden enables the opportunity to grow a range of plants that can only be cultivated in this liquid format. These water plants are not only beautiful but they also have the important function of minimizing the build-up of algae.

What’s Bugging Your Lawn?

Home lawns are commonly infested with insects, bugs, and other pests that can cause severe damage to your lawn; however, there are ways to control pest infestations. Learn how to identify and prevent these issues:

Winterizing Your Garden

In October and November there are a few small tasks to do to help your garden survive the winter and make your property beautiful for the spring.