Welcome to the first post in our new Cure Cabin Fever With Cayuga Mutual series! Our team has put our heads together to come up with activities that are keeping us busy during our time at home and helping us try things we’ve always wanted to! 

To kick things off, here are 8 tips on how you can make the most of the warmer weather to start your own garden shared by Leah Roloson from IT/accounting support. 

Tip #1

The location of your garden is key. Determine whether your garden will be full sun (6+ hours), part sun (4-6 hours) or full shade (0-4 hours). Once you know that, the rest is easy! 

Plant tags are a wealth of information and everything you need to know will be listed, including sun and water requirements, bloom time, how far apart to plant, height, etc. Plants like Sunpatiens actually have a ruler on the back of the handle for easy spacing. 

If your garden is around your house, tall plants should be closest to your exterior, and short plants should be at the front.

Tip #2

Pick plants you enjoy looking at (your favourite colour, flower shape etc.). Tending to them will be easier and you will enjoy the fruits of your labour. Don’t select things just because they are hardy or fit your criteria.

Tip #3

If you love gardens but don’t enjoy tending to them daily, pick a flower like a Rio Dipladenia or a hardy perennial that won’t need watering every day. Rios can go several days, even weeks, without water.

Tip #4

If you’re low on space, planters are an excellent option. If you’d like to build your own with all of your favourite things, remember, to build a stunning planter you will need: a thriller, a filler, and a spiller!

In the middle, you want to have something with a lot of height (a thriller!) – think dracaena spike, cordyline or red rubrum grass. 

A filler is any upright plant with a lot of colour! Calibrachoas and petunias are great options; they’re robust but also offer some of the most brilliant colours. 

A spiller is something like a vinca vine that trails over the edge of the pot so you can’t see the harsh line of where the pot stops and the plant begins. 

Again, try to ensure all the plants you include have similar sun and water requirements.

Tip #5

If you have some space for hanging baskets, just remove the thriller and add your favourite filler and long spiller for a whimsical looking basket.

Tip #6

If vegetable gardening is what you’re after, it’s important to pay attention to what kind of crop it is; is it a cold crop like lettuce or is it something late like carrots? Timing is everything with food. 

If you’re impatient, you can plant vegetables that have already been started for you. It is more difficult to start from seed.

Tip #7

Something I like to do is create a planter blend of herbs and veggies. 

For example, I love to make salsa. In my planter I would include cherry tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and basil – that way when I’m ready to make my snack, I have most ingredients ready to go on my patio or deck.

Tip #8

Want something bold without the effort? If you have some empty planters and are unaware of how to style them, you can buy ready-made hanging baskets (with the same or similar diameter) and use them as inserts.

Simply remove the hanging portion of the basket and place it inside your desired planter. Your planter will stay clean all season and is ready for winter storage or can easily be changed to a festive seasonal mix.

Best of luck as you embark on your gardening journey. Why not share some photos of your progress on social media? Don’t forget to use #CayugaMutualCares so we can see your beautiful new garden!