Soil Preparation
Soil preparation for planting of seeds or plants is best started in the fall.
Alternatively, organic material, either compost or manure, can be added to the soil in the spring. Organic dressings will help the soil keep moisture, improve drainage conditions and assist root growth.
Fall Soil Prep
Remove and compost garden debris
Spread organic material (compost or manure) 4-6 cm thick over the area
Turn organic material into soil using spade or fork.
Note: Do not be concerned about large lumps at this time, the frost will break down the denser soil structure
Turn soil again in spring before planting, breaking apart larger lumps
Spring Soil Prep
Remove garden debris from site several weeks before planting
Turn soil over, breaking large lumps apart
Add organic material (layer of 5-10 cm) and turn over once more
Note: Gypsum or other dressing can be added to heavy clay soil to make it more friable

Planting Vegetables
Soil Preparation
A well drained and nutrient rich soil is most important for growing vegetables. If the soil where you are planting is clayly, adding an absorbant such as zeolite will be helpful. Compost or sea soil will regulate drainage and moisture retention.

Seeds
Always refer to the seed package for planting depth and spacing instructions. Different varieties of the same vegetable may have unique requirements. Usually, it is recommended to begin by creating a trench in the soil — depth and width will vary. Space seeds along the trench and backfill, leaving a slight depression on each side of the mound. Water well.

Transplants
Dig a deeper trench sufficient to contain the root ball for each transplant. Place individual plants in one row within the trench. Usually, tags that accompany plants will give spacing directions. Loosen roots slightly before covering with soil then press soil around roots. Fertilize with a solution of Plant Prod 10-52-10 or preferred transplant fertilizer. MYKE® Vegetable Garden is available from Green Haven.
Planting Annuals

PansyA plant that sprouts from a seed, grows, flowers, produces its own seeds and dies, all during one year (April to October) is considered an annual.
Some perennials from warmer zones may be grown as annuals in Southern Alberta. These are typically purchased in pots and not as seeds.

Annuals are a great way to add colour and interest to your yard.
Annuals can be used for borders, in beds or to fill spaces between shrubs and trees.
Annuals can be seen gloriously overflowing hanging baskets and window boxes, or deftly climbing trellises.

Annuals are available from Green Haven both in seed and plant form.
Seeds can be sown indoors or outdoors depending on the number of growing daysrequired by the annual.
Annuals that need a longer prowing period should be started earlier indoors.
Perennials
Planting Instructions
Bleeding HeartsTypically, you will need to dig a hole twice the width of the pot and 1 1/2 times as deep as the pot, (slightly deeper for clayly soils.)
Use a hand trowel to loosen the sides of the hole slightly.
Backfill the hole with a good quality loam or soil mixture to the depth of the pot.
The plant should end up level with the ground surface after planting.
Before placing the plant in the hole, loosen the root ball slightly to encourage root growth.
Set the plant in the hole and fill the sides with soil. Gently tamp the soil to firm it slightly.
If plants are purchased several days before planting, check the pots daily to make sure they do not dry out.
Check plants for moisture daily after setting in the ground.
During hot, sunny days, plants may need water up to once per day for several weeks.

Fertilizers
Starter fertilizers typically have a high middle number in the NPK rating. This is phosphorus, a nutrient that is essential for root growth. Plant Prod, for example, has a 10-52-10 rating.
If you are using Myke® Growth Supplement, no fertilizer needs to be applied for 3-4 weeks.
Trees and Shrubs
Planting Instructions
Typically, you will need to dig a hole twice the width of the pot containing the tree or shrub and 1 1/2 times as deep, (up to twice the depth for clayly soils.)
Use a shovel to loosen the sides and bottom of the hole slightly.
In dry periods, it is a good idea to partially fill the hole (1/3 to 1/2) with water at this time and observe draining conditions.
Backfill the hole (after water drains) with a good quality loam or soil mixture to the depth of the pot. The tree or shrub should end up level with the ground surface after planting.
Before placing the tree or shrub in the hole, loosen the root ball slightly to encourage root growth. Set the plant in the hole and fill the sides with soil. Gently tamp the soil to firm it slightly.

Watering
It is better to deep water trees and shrubs every 3-4 days than shallow watering too frequently. Deep watering encourages deeper root growth and a healthier tree or shrub.
If plants are purchased several days before planting, check the pots daily to make sure they do not dry out.
Grafted Trees
Graft unions are common on many flowering and fruit trees sold in Southern Alberta. These unions should be planted above soil level to prevent fungal growth or disease from entering the plant.

Staking
With frequent high winds in Southern Alberta, exposed trees could be destabilized by the wind and staking may be necessary.
Soft nylon webbing around the tree works best. One or two stakes in the direction of prevailing wind source is recommended.
Allow for some movement. Stakes and ties may be removed once the tree is established — usually after a year.

Note: If you are using Myke® Tree and Shrub, no fertilizer needs to be applied for 3-4 weeks.
Lawn Preparation

Caring for a lawn in Southern Alberta can become a challenge, especially for those without an in-ground sprinkler system. With proper timing and a little attention to watering and fertilizer, a lush lawn is not beyond the reach of most homeowners.
Raking
Hand raking or power raking early in the spring is a first important step to a healthy lawn. This allows proper circulation around the grass stems. Initial raking should be done while the grass is still dormant and brown. if that is not possible be sure the grass is dry when raking so healthy roots are not damaged.
Aerating
Aerating is done in the spring to allow water and fertilizer to penetrate into the soil more easily. Lawns that are older than five years or very compacted are most benefited by aerating. Aerating is best done in the spring when rain water is most available, but it can be through the season.

Fertilizing
In early Spring, a fertilizer with a high phosphorus NPK rating (10-20-5) should be used to encourage root development. Later, typically in June, a slow release nitrogen fertilizer will keep your grass green and lush.