This is the second in a monthly series where we get advice from local businesses.
Revelstoke winters might be snow filled, but our spring and summers still offer a plentiful period for avid gardeners to get into their yards, whether they are growing fruit, vegetables, flowers, or just maintaining a green lawn.
This year, Ryan Corbett and Joel Chevrier, owners of Kelly’s Bobcat (KBC), expanded their business by purchasing Indigo Gardening. KBC already offers equipment rentals and full landscaping, from installing irrigation and water features, building rock retaining walls, and selling landscape supplies, to snow removal. Owning and operating Indigo will compliment KBC by offering gardening services such as lawn mowing and weeding.
Corbett, a landscaper with 16 years experience, started off apprenticing under a certified landscaper and horticulturist in Vernon, BC. Corbett, himself is responsible for some popular Vernon landscaping, including at Predator Ridge. He has some green conscious advice on how to keep your garden happy this year.
“The biggest thing is irrigation,” Corbett explains. “I recommend putting in an irrigation system if you can. That way, you use the minimum amount of water needed to water your plants, reducing water waste.” While KBC installs systems, Corbett says he is happy to offer advice to anyone interested in installing their own, and carries any parts they may need in stock.
When it comes to watering, try early morning or evening watering. If it’s too hot outside, you risk shocking your plants. A note to those who have put down turf or planted seed, it should be kept moist like a sponge for two weeks. The city actually allows watering daily for two weeks if you’ve just planted or laid grass.
Mowing the lawn, something synonymous with summer lawn care, requires some forethought to those interested in garden savvy techniques. “It was a hot May,” Corbett says. “From now until August, or the end of July, you really only need to mow once a week.”
Corbett recommends rejecting the trend to “scalp” your lawn to lessen the amount it needs mowing. “Three inches high is how we cut,” he explains. If possible, Corbett suggests purchasing a mulching blade for your mower (available at Rough Country Marine) as it rejuvenates the ground by helping keep it moist and offering nutrition to the lawn as it decomposes.
When it comes to trees, shrubs and gardens, Corbett suggests using mulch. “Mulch adds moisture and releases nutrients,” he explains. Corbett recommends Natures Gold Mulch, highly composted, black and rich. If your garden lacks a good soil base, try putting in organic soil. “Black Diamond soil is ready to go and great for plants,” he says.
As for weeding and fertilizing, here are a couple of Corbett’s tips. When it comes to weeding, if you can rototiller or hoe, you’ll save your back (though Indigo does all weeding by hand). As for weeds in the lawn like dandelions, think long term. “Don’t go down the ‘how can we kill them’ road,” Corbett says. “Instead, focus on having a healthy lawn, because a strong lawn will naturally force weeds out. Aerate or de-thatch the lawn every two years. Feed your lawn non toxic fertilizers (less than 25% nitrogen) every spring, late summer and fall.”
And if you have any questions? Head up to KBC/IG and chat to Corbett. “Stop in, I’ll happily answer and give advice,” Corbett says. “It’s important to KBC/IG that we enable homeowners to create and maintain their gardens, whether they utilize KBC/IG or do it themselves!”