Transition Salt Spring

Ask a Mentor Gardener


Ask a Mentor Gardener

The Mentor Gardeners are a group of experienced Salt Spring Gardeners who will provide answers to questions on practical, seasonal-specific aspects of gardening.

Ask your questions on the Comment Wall below...

Location: Salt Spring Island
Members: 46
Latest Activity: Mar 5, 2015

Resources and Useful Links for the Mentor Gardening group

Discussion Forum

SSE Food Forest 4 Replies

Hi there,I am looking for someone to help with the next steps in the development of the SSE Food Forest.We have been slowly moving forward.Before Christmas we planted over 30 small trees and…Continue

Started by Katharine Byers. Last reply by Marian Hargrove Mar 7, 2013.

Mulching 5 Replies

I planted blueberry bushes and fruit trees (apple, nectarine, apricot) in the spring and they all grew well this summer.  Should I mulch any of them this winter and , if so, when and with what?Thanks.Continue

Started by Regan Hunt. Last reply by Regan Hunt Oct 1, 2012.

Canker in fruit trees?

I find a lot of information on the Internet about canker infections (e.g.,
UC Davis site) in fruit trees, but only poor…Continue

Tags: Plum, Apple, Orchard, Trees, Canker

Started by Greenrun May 21, 2012.

Caring for Tree Wounds? 4 Replies

Hello everyone. I've been away for while and haven't posted anything for a long time. Hope you're all growing along. ;-)I've been tending to my fruit trees and had to amputate a rather large trunk…Continue

Tags: Plum_tree, Tree-care, Orchard

Started by Greenrun. Last reply by Marian Hargrove May 20, 2012.

Comment Wall


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Comment by myna lee johnstone on March 5, 2015 at 10:54pm

a community Bunny Hop is a great idea
Bugged by Bunnies!

Comment by Natasha Ayton on March 5, 2015 at 10:39pm

Thanks Linda and Dennis. I think the start of the problem was a drop in the number of pets on the property. Unfortunately, we aren't able to have dogs or cats at the moment so for now, I guess I'll bite the bullet and go buy some sturdy wire fence!

Comment by Dennis Lucarelli on March 5, 2015 at 5:51pm

Linda, I am so grateful for your many ways of advocacy and good sense.  I do think that all of us are over-committed (I feel that way, anyway) and it always comes down to "Great idea, and CAN I PERSONALLY COMMIT the time to it.  This would be a fun topic to discuss at a meeting.  And here is a thought:  the TSS website allows anyone who's a part of it to form a group.  A group called "Let's Control Rabbits" or something ... if it attracts enough people, those people could start organizing.  Or how about a "Rabbit Bake"  ... come to think of it I know one or two individuals who raise rabbits at home and they EAT them and they never escape, either.  Let's brainstorm for a speaker, an expert or a local farmer or other enthusiast, as a focal point for a "rabbit" gathering and it could be socially fun to trade ideas.  It may take awhile for a collective vision of a first step to take place ... let's keep this conversation going.

Comment by Linda Frost on March 5, 2015 at 5:35pm

I think, rather than have each individual gardener spend money, time and energy on extra fencing, dogs, etc., it may be time to organize as a community and lobby the powers that be to address what is a growing problem for the island. Here are a few numbers: doe rabbits are induced ovulators meaning they are always ready to conceive from about the age of 3 - 8 months for their lifetime 9-12 years or more, and have litters of 4-12 kits. Gestation is 30 days for 3/4 of the year and as soon as the babies are born the rabbit is immediately able to become pregnant again. Each rabbit can produce up to 100 offspring per year and about 1000 per lifetime.  Obviously we are heading toward a very serious problem.

Comment by Dennis Lucarelli on March 4, 2015 at 11:25pm

I'm no rabbit expert but all I hear is "sturdier wire, or nothing" .. the little buggers can be very persistent.  Cats are masterfully skilled rabbit-hunters (our orange one once buried the hind half of one face down in a mound of dirt as it was too much to eat in one sitting); however some of them will hunt birds which is NOT good.  Certain small dog breeds .. Jack Russells, a small dachshund... can be fanatical about rabbits and quite skillful at burrowing into their nexts and cleaning them out.  Cheaper than a fence.

Comment by Natasha Ayton on March 4, 2015 at 10:20pm


Due to the growing local rabbit population I have to rabbit proof my garden. I want to do the whole perimeter rather than individual beds. Any suggestions? I've heard that nailing the fence onto boards laid along the ground can be successful instead of digging fence down under the ground (though perhaps not stopping the most persistent diggers). Also, I know they can chew through plastic fence and chicken wire, but do you think it is worth doing if that's what I have to work with now, or is it better to invest in sturdier wire from the start? Any tips you have would be much appreciated! Thanks.

Comment by Marian Hargrove on February 15, 2015 at 10:39pm

Hi Dennis,

It's fine to plant an "early greens mix" - usually combinations of lettuces, mizuna, mustards, tsah tsai as well as kales and corn salad of course - try some different kales and eat them when they are little for a change. At this time I would fashion a frame over the patch and put a plastic cover over it just to keep your soil temperatures up a little. It's easy to forget with the January-February temperatures we have had that we can still get some freezing nights and even snow so it will give that extra bit of protection, too.  Post your results for us. Happy growing.  Marian

Comment by Dennis Lucarelli on February 15, 2015 at 6:52pm

Hello Garden Expert - I am eager to get any kind of leafy greens into the ground as we await the "salad days" of warmer weather when more varieties will thrive.  Can you recommend one or two "greens" (not kale please, been eating that all winter) ... such as parsley or ANYTHING that I can plant early.  Thanks!  Dennis

Comment by Jon Healey on September 6, 2011 at 11:38am


As I noted in the Heart and Soul, we are putting up a list of Transition Groups in our fall fair booth.  If you are able, could you give us some information?

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Comment by Regan Hunt on May 3, 2011 at 8:43pm
Marsha and Marian - thank you both for your advice.  As soon as I can get the greenhouse cleaned up, I will be planting!  Regan

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