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Planting 101 with Frankie Flowers

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Jun 3rd, 2014

After one of Canada’s most brutal winters, summer has finally arrived and we bet that your garden is in dire need of a little (or a lot of) TLC. Whether you are a newbie or an expert, it’s time to brush up on those basics. Frankie Flowers is here to give us his expert tips and tricks to plant your favourite flowers from the ground up — without all the hassle.

If you are planting in a container, make sure to use potting soil that contains perlite for easy drainage. If you’re planting in the ground, use garden soil and mix it with the native soil for best results.

Plant selection:
It is important that you know which plants require the most sun, deadheading, and water maintenance. If some plants are neglected long enough, they will rot and create long-term diseases during the summer season. Tip: Talk to your gardening centre before you purchase anything. They will be able to tell you exactly which plants suit your garden best.

Pre- and post-planting:
Water your plants immediately before and after planting. Watering before will allow your plants to easily slide out of the pot and will prevent shocking its root system.

To begin, remove the pot from your plant and rip its root system down in order to spread them apart. Healthy and happy roots should appear white while rotting roots will appear brown. Next, firmly press down on the outer sides to fasten the roots inside the soil.

This is a crucial maintenance technique that simply means removing existing bloomed flowers. Plants are always putting energy to the bloom, so by removing the flower, the energy that was put into the flower is now transferred into the foliage to create more buds. If your plant requires deadheading, make sure to pluck the flower and fill the vacant space with fertilizer for quick regrowth.

Recommended plants:

Full sun gardens
Choose a plant that is able to sustain itself under the hot sun with lowest maintenance. Frankie suggests a Geranium for its foolproof growth tolerance. Another great option is Lobelia Hot. Usually known for drying out from the sun, the Hot version of this plant is not only self-cleaning, but is also able to withstand the summer heat.

Shaded gardens
Frankie suggests a Torenia plant as it is known for creating a trail over the edge of the pot. Though it is not as well known as other shade plants, the beautiful blue flower with a bell shape will complement any garden and needs little maintenance.

For more tips from Frankie, watch him demonstrate this process below:

Courtesy Frank Ferragine



GO Transit strike averted as Metrolinx & ATU reach deal

CityNews | posted Monday, Jun 2nd, 2014

A strike has been averted at GO Transit as Metrolinx and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1587 reached a tentative four-year deal overnight Monday.

About 1,800 GO bus drivers, ticket sellers, maintenance and safety personnel, and some office staff were poised to go on strike at midnight, however, contract negotiations continued past that deadline.

The strike would have affected roughly 53,000 bus riders across the GTA but would not have impacted GO train service.

“We all go to work today,” said a relieved ATU Local 1587 president, Dan Harris. “The buses are going to roll and all the members that keep these buses rolling and all the other departments…the job continues.”

The current three-year contract between Metrolinx and the union expired on Saturday.

Regular bus service will resume later Monday morning, Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said.

Details of the contract have not been released and the agreement still has to be ratified by union members.

GO Transit hasn’t had a strike in its 47 years of operation.

Week of June 2, 2014

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Jun 1st, 2014

Coming up on Breakfast Television this week:

On Monday, Canadian country artist Jimmy Rankin stops by to perform a few of his biggest hits.

We have the cast of the new Jersey Boys movie on Wednesday.

Plus, to round off the week, psychic medium Char Margolis is in on Friday to talk about tapping into your intuition.

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

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