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On the Down the Garden Path Radio Show and Podcast, landscape designers Joanne Shaw and Matthew Dressing discuss down-to-earth tips and advice for your plants, gardens, and landscapes.

Joanne and Matthew believe it's important and possible to have great gardens that are low maintenance.

Each week, they educate their listeners on how to seasonally manage their gardens and landscapes. Joanne and Matt learn right along with their listeners, from each other, from their research, and from the many guests who join them on their show. 

Listen live at on Monday’s at 7 pm ET or subscribe to download this show and past episodes from your favourite podcast app. 

Check out the website for even more garden tips and tricks.

Mar 27, 2023

With the warmer weather upon us, it’s almost time to head out into the garden and get started. In this week’s April in the Garden episode, Joanne Shaw and Matthew Dressing discuss the do’s and don’ts in your April garden.

Here are some of the questions and topics covered in this episode:

  • Veggies
    • Start seeds indoors if you haven't already. Just under eight weeks to the last average frost date.
    • Bulbs – you can start potting up Canna and Calla bulbs
    • Hardening off seedlings
  • Plants
    • When are plants arriving in the garden centres?
    • What is it safe to plant when?
    • Many perennials can be divided in early spring.
    • Be mindful of cold-season plants available in garden centres: they are not all grown equally.
    • Deciduous shade – what is it and why is it important?
    • How to protect early spring flowering bulbs.
    • Pruning hydrangeas – which, how, when?
    • Spring pruning other shrubs – how and when?
    • Acclimatizing houseplants – how and when?
  • Beneficial insects
    • Place Mason and leaf cutter bee cocoons out in protected housing on the south or southeast wall.
    • Look for praying mantis casings in stores to put out in your yard now.
    • Much too early for ladybugs
  • Lawn
    • Cleaning up the yard: the do’s and don’ts.
    • Be ready to apply corn gluten pellets, not corn gluten meal (dust). Do this before the forsythia blooms.
    • Too early to rake lawns. Try to avoid walking too much on the lawn.
    • When to start putting down grass seed? Wait for nighttime temperatures to warm up.
    • Top dressing?

Resources mentioned during the show

Down the Garden Path: A Step-By-Step Guide to Your Ontario Garden

Down the Garden Path Podcast

Each week on Down The Garden Path, professional landscape designers Joanne Shaw and Matthew Dressing discuss down-to-earth tips and advice for your plants, gardens and landscapes.

As the owner of Down2Earth Landscape Design, Joanne Shaw has been designing beautiful gardens for homeowners east of Toronto for over a decade. A horticulturist and landscape designer, Matthew Dressing owns Natural Affinity Garden Design, a landscape design and garden maintenance firm servicing Toronto and the Eastern GTA. Together, they do their best to bring you interesting, relevant and useful topics to help you keep your garden as low maintenance as possible.

In their new book, Down the Garden Path: A Step-By-Step Guide to Your Ontario Garden, Joanne and Matthew distill their horticultural and design expertise and their combined experiences in helping others create and maintain thriving gardens into one easy-to-read monthly reference guide. It's now available on Amazon.

Don't forget to check out Down the Garden Path on your favourite podcast app and subscribe! You can now catch the podcast on YouTube and Patreon.