Do I need to water my native plants?

(c) Fletcher Wildlife Garden

Heading into another toasty Ottawa weekend (if it is Canada Day, it must either be roasting or soggy with massive downpours…), a very important question comes to mind for gardeners heading off on a camping trip or just the water conscious at home: do I need to water my native plants? After all, part of the reason to go native in the garden, as it were, is to reduce the amount of work tending a traditional ornamental garden requires.

At the FWG we have a sprinkler that we turn on as the baby plants in the nursery require since they can dry out more quickly in their small pots. There is an automatic sprinkler for the grass in the Backyard Garden since its more high-traffic nature means wear and tear is more obvious and damaging with very dry grass. We don’t water the plants in the BYG or anywhere else at the FWG unless they are newly planted and becoming established. Continue reading

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Get out into the great green and learn!

FWG Volunteer Katherine Forster is one of the minds behind Ottawa Urban Wild Tours, an initiative sponsored through Transition Ottawa to provide an opportunity for residents to get out and learn more about nature in the City. Through monthly tours on various topics with invited guides, OUWT is a great way to get taste of nature near you.

Of course, tours run by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club (FWG’s parent organisation) are another fabulous way to get outside and learn. Events include tours and workshops, and vary in level of technical ability.

Not so ‘elemen-tree’: How to plant a tree

Planting Nannyberry trees in the heat, on a slope, in the clay – a thankless job for which we are most thankful!

Planting trees should be an elementary activity in theory, right? Just dig hole, place tree, fill in and go! The reality is more complicated, as proper tree planting requires greater due diligence than people realise. How you dig the hole, place the tree, stabilise and back fill soil are essential for tree survival – and, are items sadly ignored even by some professional installers (just look more closely at trees in parking lots the next time you go shopping – suckering near the bottom of the trunk means an unhappy tree!) Continue reading