- It's time to prune apple trees, thinning out old, thick branches and dead wood to open up the tree for spring. Read our recent Toronto Star column about this topic.

-   If there's still snow where you are, take the opportunity to knock snow and ice off your shrubs, evergreens and trees to prevent broken limbs.

- Buy garden seeds or look in your area to find out about Seedy Saturdays and Seed Exchanges, which are a great way to find heritage varieties and meet local growers. If you're going to buy your seed from a seed company or retailer, it's still early enough to get a broad selection.  Look over the Mark's Choice line up of veggie and wildflower seeds at Home Hardware.

-   Before the end of the month, you can begin starting your cooler season crops such as onion, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower and kale which are okay to transplant up to a month before last frost. It helps to protect them with a row cover. Starting seeds in March is a good opportunity to lengthen your growing season.

- Check out the Mark's Choice mini greenhouse kit.  Great for starting all garden seeds. Low heat emissions and wide spectrum.       


- Start your dahlia bulbs inside using 1-gallon pots and a quality potting mix, which will give you a jump on their blooming season. Look for Mark's Choice dahlia collections at Home Hardware (item #5029-213).



Backhoe (mini, mid-size, and full-size)

The Backhoe is a multi-function weeding tool. You can pop large, deeply rooted weeds out of the ground by dropping the sharp, pointy end of the head into the soil behind the weed. Give it a tug and out pops the weed.                


This is the first weeding tool that you will purchase that does not need sharpening when you bring it home. It is pre-sharpened. it features a stainless steel head, serrated back-side for combing chickweed and moss out of the garden and a 59" solid ash handle. We love this tool.

This run-away sensation also has a brother and sister. One is the same long handled tool with a head that is 2/3 the size of the original model. It is great for use in tightly planted gardens and small, urban spaces.


There is also a short-handled 'mini' backhoe. It features the same stainless steel, pre-sharpened 2/3 sized head on a shorter, 16 inch solid ash handle. Perfect for weeding and planting raised beds or while working in a crouch position.

Home Hardware # 5036-415 (original), 5036-414 (medium), 5036-413 (mini)



About Mark and Ben:

Mark Cullen is an expert gardener, author & broadcaster and holds the Order of Canada. His son Ben is a fourth-generation urban gardener and graduate of Guelph and Dalhousie University. You can sign up for their free monthly newsletter and find his weekly podcast & blog at www.markcullen.com.

An Organic Approach (5010-205), is available at Home Hardware.


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