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Melanie Mathieson - Gardening Guru

The Principles of Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping (pronounced zera –skay-ping) is the term given to landscaping and gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water. It is most often promoted in regions in North America that do not have easily accessible, plentiful, or reliable supplies of fresh water but it is gaining acceptance in other areas, especially in parts of Canada with drier climates.

Diagnosing Damage on Oaks


There are three common pests in our region that will cause damage to oak trees and the damage seems to be quite prevalent this season. Below are descriptions of the damage you may see and the insect so you can diagnose the problem yourself.


Fall Lawn Care

Fall is on the horizon and many gardeners are taking advantage of every nice day, trying to eke out the last of the gardening season. Many homeowners and gardeners often neglect the yard at this time of year but there are still a few important tasks to take on. Fall lawn care is a task worth pursuing which will pay off immensely next spring and throughout the growing season.

Careful crop rotation leads to a much healthier veggie garden

By now you are well into the growing season of your vegetable garden and hopefully are benefiting from the fruits of your labour. As you think ahead to what you would like to do next year, it is a good idea to take some notes of where things were planted this year so you can move things around next season.

A good gardener will use crop rotation from year to year, to ensure good soil nutrient supply and pest control, by changing the location of your annual vegetable crops.

The Black Walnut

Many people probably do not know that there are quite a few black walnut and butternuts (also known as white walnut) growing in yards in Fort Frances and properties along the Rainy River. It is not intentionally being kept a secret, but many gardeners just don’t know or realize what tree species it is. When I still lived in Fort Frances, I would receive many calls every year asking for me to come and identify the tree or the nuts, or a problem with plants dying the garden (see below for details).