Accessible container gardening tips shared by Cornwall Transition+

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Even though the area received a light dusting of wet snow on Wednesday, many people were looking forward to late spring and early summer gardening efforts, including those who attended a talk hosted by Transition Cornwall+ .

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A handful of green-thumbed locals attended the presentation in person, while others attended from a recorded virtual livestream.

Transition Cornwall+ member Carol Boileau shared her accessible gardening techniques as someone who uses a wheelchair to get around. Another member, Marc Ladoucer, asked him discussion questions and moderated the event.

“What I do, I’m able to do from my wheelchair,” Boileau said. “Everything – repotting, starting seeds, moving pots, watering pots, I do it myself. I even made a fence, did it myself… anything is possible. If you have mobility issues, or just want to do something really easy, anyone can garden.

Boileau said she took up container gardening during the pandemic, a hobby many people have found themselves trying for the first time, whether for entertainment or food sustainability. She said she laughed at her failures along the way and described her successes, noting that she was still learning.

To start, Boileau planted around 30 seedlings in containers in his house after mid-May. She learned that each plant should have its own container, which can be anything from a recycled Tim Horton cup to something from Dollarama, as long as there is enough space to accommodate root growth. of the plant in question. Some of the seeds Boileau bought pre-packaged, others she extracted from vegetables and fruits purchased at the grocery store.

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  1. Transition Cornwall+ volunteer Elaine Kennedy got busy Friday, May 29, 2020 in Cornwall, Ontario at the Edible Plant Give-Away: On the Road event.  Kennedy, who was part of the second team at the event, told the Standard-Freeholder that during the first hour, more than 60 plants were given away for free.  Francis Racine/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network

    An incredible gift returns to Cornwall on May 29

  2. A tiny forest, located next to the Cornwall Public Library on Sydney Street, will be officially unveiled at noon on Friday.  Photo taken Tuesday, September 21, 2021 in Cornwall, Ont.  Francis Racine/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network

    The Little Forest of Cornwall will be officially unveiled on October 1

  3. Gretchen Lebrun, picking some fresh cherry tomatoes from one of the city's community gardens on Friday, September 10, 2021 in Cornwall, Ontario.  This particular garden is located across from the Fourth Street Fire Station and is open to any resident of the city.

    Seaway Valley Community Health Center is looking for garden volunteers

Once she got her plants outside, Boileau placed a few of them on chairs for easier access and the ability for air to reach under the plant, where the containers have vent holes. drainage. Others she placed in tiered wooden pallets and on a table. Throughout the summer, she used a watering can to water her plants later in the evening, also making trips and from the hose, which could not reach her vegetable area.

“Everything has to be accessible because I water it myself,” she said, considering the weight of the watering can and the height at which the plants are placed.

Boileau has had the most success with different types of tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, beans, kale, lettuce, green onions and different herbs. She doesn’t think she’ll try harvesting pumpkins or zucchini again because they’re getting so big she thinks they’re best planted in the ground. She also doesn’t think she’ll try harvesting corn again, discouraged by the fact that despite her best pest control efforts, a squirrel has confiscated every ear. The squirrels also ran off with his cantaloupes.

Bugs are something Boileau says she’s thankful she hasn’t encountered yet. To discourage pests in general, she placed a trellis or small wiring around some plants. She also used the miracle crop once every few weeks and plans to reuse last year’s soil, first mixing it with compost or manure.

“It’s a learning experience every year. If you’re just trying, don’t be discouraged! You will improve with your abilities every year,” Boileau said.

To find out more about Transition Cornwall+ and its unique calendar of upcoming events, including the Incredible Edibles Composting Workshop, visit the Transition Cornwall+ website.

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