Green Team members Sarah Broders, Micoya Kelly, Jonathan Foote and Andrew Moulton partnered with Smallwood Crescent Community Centre this summer to keep the natural spaces in their community clean. They also worked hard caring for the community’s garden beds. Read on to learn how the team cared for sunflowers, marigolds and hostas.
The Team’s Favorite Flower: A Sunflower
Sunflowers say “summer” like no other plant. Sunflowers are a fairly fast growing and it only takes about 85 to 95 days for them to be fully grown. The flowers height can range from 1 foot to 16 feet. Sunflowers are heliotropic, meaning they turn to face the sun across the sky from east to west. This means it’s best to plant sunflowers in a space with direct sunlight and that has well-draining soil. Sunflowers tend to bloom towards the end of the summer and are fully open for about two to three weeks before closing again.
This genus is native to the south of Mexico, but some species have become naturalized around the world. Marigolds can heal skin wounds, burns, and even some rashes! They are the most well known plant for repelling insects.
Marigolds grow best in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. They thrive best when in full sun and should be watered multiple times a day. Once they are planted they grow rapidly. It only takes marigolds about 8 weeks to reach their peak size and they can vary from 10 to 36 inches tall. Marigolds maximum lifespan is less than a year, but they are certainly a sight when they bloom.
A Low Maintenance Plant: Hostas
Hostas are an excellent plant to add to your garden and an easy choice for us at the Smallwood Crescent community Centre! They are very easy to care for and grow well in any environment. Hostas are perennial, meaning that they will live for over two years (and can possibly live for up to 30 years), so they are great for a low budget garden. Not only are hostas low-maintenance and cheap, but they are absolutely breathtaking!
The most important thing to remember when planting hostas is that they need proper shade to grow. The hosta doesn’t thrive in direct sunlight. Plant them in rich, slightly acidic soil with good drainage in an area where they have at least four feet of room to grow. After following these few steps your hostas should grow well as they are relatively disease-free and are very resilient plants that will survive most conditions. As long as your soil has proper drainage, you can easily avoid crown rot which is common in many plants. Now that you have the basics, you’re ready to welcome some hostas to your garden and enjoy their beauty!
After following these simple steps from the Smallwood Crescent Community Centre Green Team you now have the ability to start or add to your garden with these beautiful plants that will grow for years to come!