The News (New Glasgow)

Rain or shine: How weather impacts your garden

- ALLISTER AALDERS @allisterca­nada Allister Aalders is the weather specialist for the SaltWire Network, providing forecasts and analysis for Atlantic Canada. #AskAlliste­r

From the conversati­ons I've had, many people are eager to work on their lawns and gardens.

Depending on your level of expertise, you may have started weeks ago. Still, the average last frost is behind us, making it safe for beginner-to-expert gardeners to get outside and dig in the soil.

Emily Tregunno, a gardening expert with Halifax Seed, has a few tips for the start of the gardening season.

"Let's be honest, the weather has everything to do with how we garden and when we garden,” said Tregunno.

One of the key tips from Tregunno is to make sure you're planting what's suitable for your microclima­te.

“If you get extreme drought in your backyard you want to make sure you're planting varieties that are a little bit heat and dry tolerant,” she said, noting that it's important to have the proper supports for your plants during severe weather such as high winds, thundersto­rms and hurricanes.

Suppose you're looking to weed or transplant. In that case, Tregunno says it comes down to smart gardening but advises waiting until after some rain to weed your lawn while transplant­ing is ideal on a warm but overcast day.

While it's a bit late to plant some vegetables for a summer crop, Tregunno suggests hardier seeds such as kale, spinach, carrots, broccoli and cauliflowe­r should be planted earlier in the spring but to hold off on other seeds.

“You really want to make sure that we've waited until after the last frost to put in the sensitive plants — basil, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers,” she said, adding that if frost is in the forecast, gardeners should cover sensitive plants with a frost blanket.

Tregunno also suggests keeping things manageable and watching for the weather.

Having a garden can be incredibly rewarding. There's nothing quite like having a beautiful garden bed of flowers or gathering fresh produce to use in cooking.

Watch my full video conversati­on with Emily Tregunno about the weather and your garden on weather or the SaltWire YouTube channel.

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