By Paul O’Harau
Blue Oak Native Landscapes
The City of Hamilton is a hotspot for some of the most problematic invasive species in Ontario, and many of these species are still sold in the nursery trade. Below is a list of invasive species and other garden plants that you should avoid planting and/or control on your property.
Many beneficial garden insects over-winter in hollow perennial stems. Cut back stems in the spring after daytime temperatures are consistently over 10C to give insects time to wake up and move out of those stems. Cut back perennial stems with hedge shears (from the top-down) into 10-15cm pieces and let them fall and compost in the garden to help nourish your soils.
Do not spray or fertilize your plants. The decaying leaf and plant matter is enough to keep your soils healthy.
Keep your garden edges sharp by investing in an edging tool. Sharp garden edges help to make your garden design pop.
For lawns, put a stiff rake through it in spring to remove thatch, or rent a de-thatcher from your local hardware store. Top dress with compost and seed bare patches with a high-quality grass seed mix.
Learn proper pruning techniques for your woody plants. Cutting stems too flush will damage the natural healing tissues in the collar of the stem. Leaving cut stems too long will incite rot. There are lots of correct pruning videos on YouTube.