Saskatoon expert offers uncertain weather gardening advice

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The May long weekend is usually a great time for gardening, but this year it feels like spring has forgotten to visit Saskatchewan, with temperatures dropping as low as 3°C in Regina and 5°C in Saskatoon on Friday with a few showers.

A Saskatoon gardening expert offers tips on how to plant your spring flowers and vegetables as the growing season approaches.

Jill Van Duyvendyk, owner of Dutch Grows Garden, said the weather was still a bit cool for planting plants in the ground. She says potted plants should be put out during the day and brought indoors for the night so they get used to the climate.

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“We want to wait until the night temperature is around 5°C, and for some tropical plants, around 10°C,” Duyvendyk said.

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She said the advice is particularly important for any new gardeners and market gardeners who have adopted the practice since the start of the COVD-19 pandemic.

Dutch Growers Garden Center in Saskatoon.


Emily May Simmonds


Although the weather has not cooperated in planting seedlings, she says people can still plant seeds, such as corn, peas and potatoes.

“You can plant them occasionally in the soil of your bedding plant varieties that already have nice lush leaves, you want to wait until they reach 5°C at night.”

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Duyvendyk said that for some new gardeners who might not be used to this climate and fluctuating temperatures, it’s important to wait until the nighttime temperature rises because if there’s a hard freeze, they’ll have to start all over again. She said those who don’t want to wait could choose to cover their plants at night instead.

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“Make sure the temperature is warm enough that frost doesn’t hit your plants at night, or you can get a frost blanket and cover your plants and that will give you success.”

Dutch Growers Garden Center in Saskatoon.


Emily May Simmonds


She said the best tools for gardening success are fertilizer and light, and when plants get that naturally outdoors, it’s even better.

“Planting and gardening are very therapeutic. We can go out, we can be active in our yard and get something so rewarding, whether it’s color or food. I have kids and sometimes it’s hard to get them to eat vegetables, but when they see that potato being pulled out of the ground, they’re like, “I want to eat a potato now.”

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Duyvendyk said food security and rising commodity prices have prompted people to plant more of their own gardens. Instead of buying strawberries from the grocery store, she said people now buy a plant and have strawberries all summer long.

“The most important thing is that there are a lot of resources. People can research different resources, (people) can monitor their area, so be sure to choose plants that are suitable for your area. We are zone 2-3. Be sure to choose hardy, hardy plants for Saskatchewan.

Dutch Grows Garden is open all year round, they also do Christmas trees in addition to tropical and spring plants but their high season is from May 1st to June 15th.

Dutch Growers Garden Center in Saskatoon.


Emily May Simmonds


© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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