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5 gardening questions answered heading into the long weekend in Ottawa

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The first long weekend of summer is also the unofficial start to gardening season in Ottawa.

"It's like our Christmas," Mike Ritchie, general manager of Ritchie Feed and Seed, told CTV Morning Live on Wednesday.

Experts say the May long weekend is a good time to start planting your gardens for 2024.

According to Ritchie Feed and Seed, the top gardening trends this year include "a special place for pollinators," rain gardens to deal with the intense summer rainfalls and drought resistance plants.

Ritchie Feed and Seed general manager Mike Ritchie dropped by CTV Morning Live to provide some advice for planting your garden this weekend.

What can people do with their lawn to get it ready for summer?

"For the lawn, it's a great time to overseed. Do a spring fertilizer with a high nitrogen," Ritchie said Wednesday morning.

"What you can do for grub treatments, there's nematodes.  A lot of people have grub issues in Ottawa."

Overseeding is the planting of grass seed directly into existing turf, without tearing up the soil.

If you are seeding your lawn, experts recommend watering your lawn every day for two weeks until the grass begins to grow.

Ritchie says you don't need to put "a tonne" of seed down to grow your lawn, recommending spreading it sparsely because "it's a plant, it needs room to grow."

What can you do this weekend to prepare your garden to plant vegetables?

"The weather is looking pretty good; there doesn't seem to be much chance of frost in the near future so we should be good to start planting," Ritchie tells CTV Morning Live.

"Basically, it's preparing the garden, getting the weeds out, putting fertilizer down, compost, any new soil to buff it up a bit."

What types of vegetables can you plant now?

"Basically, any of them," Ritchie says.

"Mainly people are doing tomatoes, peppers. If you're doing from seed – carrots, cucumbers, everything like that, you should be able to start planting this weekend. The weather looks pretty good."

When should I move my indoor plants outside for the season?

"They should be able to. It's always good to harden them off a bit, where you put them outside for a bit then bring them inside because sometimes the shock from just going from an inside environment to an outside environment is a little bit much for them," Ritchie says.

"You don't want to put them from inside into a really bright, sunny spot because they'll just get scalded."

It is time to plant the herb garden?

"Absolutely," Ritchie says.

"They can be fit in with your veggies. A lot of people put them on their balconies and stuff like that, kitchens. We should be getting more sunlight, which they love."

Ritchie says you can grow herbs in a "smaller space."

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