Planting Help Needed for Canada’s 150th Celebration at the Plaza

Calling all gardeners! Get ready for Canada Day!
This Saturday, May 27 at 9 am in the Gold River Plaza
We will be putting new plants in the boxes
Bring your hat, garden gloves, water bottle, and small trowel/garden fork
Should be through before noon
Come and have fun!

~ Submitted directly to The Buzz from Gold River’s Canada Day 150th Committee

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Garden Centre News by Bridgite Messer

Gold River Builder’s Supplies

Garden Centre News by Bridgite Messer
Garden Centre is Open!

Location- across the street from the main store of Gold River Builders Supplies.

The basic needs for gardening are always kept at the main store during the shoulder seasons. Through the growing season this year we will continue to keep inventory at the main store: lawn care items, soils, watering and irrigation, and pesticides.

Gold River Builder’s Garden Centre is stocked with potting soil, mulch, garden soil, tools, fertilizers,  lawn care, barbeques, patio furniture, garden art and many diverse planting containers.

What is Happening in Your Garden?

Early spring is the time for cleanup and lawns. Thank you to the village of Gold River for cleaning our streets. The town already looks freshened up and has saved homeowners from a time consuming job! It’s time to lime the lawn, followed by fertilizer. Lime raises the ph of Gold River’s acidic soil, helping to deter the growth of moss and also helps the grass consume any fertilizer that you feed it. Typically, people like to use a high nitrogen fertilizer on the lawn in the spring to get a nice flush of green.

The First Shipment of Bedding Plants Arrives by Sat. May 6

Bedding plants are arriving this week with the focus on flowers for Mother’s Day: hanging baskets and lots of red and white choices for those planning for Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Tomatoes and vegetables are starting with quantities increasing with each shipment as we approach the “safe” long weekend in May.

Garden Centre Hours:

Monday to Friday-10:30AM to 4PM

(I will often be there longer than posted hours, especially through May)

Saturday will be 9AM to 5Pm

Sunday Hours commence on May 7 from 11AM to 2PM until June 4 and

Don’t forget, outside of the garden centre hours, most supplies are available across the street, at the main store of Gold River’s Timber Mart.

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Ladybug Plant Sale Saturday May 28

Ladybug Plant Sale

Join the Ladybug Garden Gals for their annual plant sale in the Plaza.
Saturday May 28th, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Rent a table at the Market for $10
Sell anything you wish: art, baking, crafts, jam, clothing or garage sale items.
Pre-buy your table at ‘The Vault’, with Jeannie Maddocks at People’s Pharmacy
or call Kristen Little at 250-283-2952
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Summer at Gold River Builders


Note: This is a new post as Bridgite wanted to add canning supplies and her Daughter Cassandra’s AMAZING handmade soap!

Summer at Gold River Builders:

Fishing has been hot and Gold River Builders has a section devoted just for fishing needs specialized to Nootka Sound. There is also a small section devoted to camping.

Canning Supplies and Fish Smoking: Everything you need to deal with all the fish you caught!

Coolers are in many sizes for camping, picnics, fishing, etc.

Barbeques are a necessity for summer! There are a few left with great pricing.


Homemade in Gold River by Cassandra Messer with all natural ingredients are now available at the main store. Enjoy an extraordinary lathering experience!

Garden Centre Clearance Sale:
All trees and shrubs! 30% OFF!

There are many nice items left:

  • Three Mock Orange – deliciously fragrant!
  • Two Forsythia – One of the first bloomers in the spring with bright yellow flowers.
  • Several Heather – Purple and white with next spring’s buds already set!
  • One Large Eddie White Dogwood tree
  • Two Flowering Red Bark Dogwood
  • One, almost full grown, Boogle Larch – great in planted or kept in a container.
  • Two Weeping Atlas Blue Spruce
  • Many evergreen shrubs – The work horse of any landscape. They come in many shades of green, blue and yellow; an endless variety of shapes that require virtually zero effort for care and look good all year!
  • Grass: Tall clumping reed grass with interesting blooms as well as small evergreen Mondo grass with white flowers.

Late summer and fall offer ideal planting conditions for trees and shrubs.

 As we head into a shoulder season for gardening, hours at Gold River Builders Garden Centre are shrinking. I am at the store every Monday and most Tuesdays from 9am to 5pm. The rest of the week I am there only on days when watering is necessary. If the “OPEN” light is on, I’m there.  When traffic to the garden centre is slow, there is a sign on the gate indicating that for help go to the main store.  You will find that garden centre supplies that are needed in the fall have been moved there for your convenience. If not, someone will help you get what you need.

Thank you so very much for all the support Gold River! Plus, to all the residents of Tahsis who shop at Gold River Timber Mart, Thank you too! I have so enjoyed meeting you.

Gold River Builders is a full building supply: lumber, drywall, plumbing, electrical, hardware, paint, windows, doors, countertops etc., located at 502 Industrial Park Place. Turn at the yellow bridge!


By Bridgite Messer

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Gardening in Gold River Soil


Gardening in Gold River Soil

How important is soil ph? It really depends on how much time and money you choose to spend on your garden. On the ph scale from 1 to 14, everything below 7 is acidic and everything above 7 is alkaline. Each living thing in the garden has its own unique ph. Of the many amazing cycles and rhythms within your own backyard, this is just one more intricacy of nature of which a gardener should be aware. Excessive rain, organic decomposition from pine and other evergreen trees, an abundance of buttercup, dandelions, and horsetail are all signs of acidic soil. So, there really is no need to test Gold River soil. It is acidic. This is however, not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just good to know what you are dealing with and, in the end, will save you a lot of work. Many plants that make Vancouver Island so beautiful thrive in acidic soil. Spring is especially beautiful here with blooming rhododendrons, azaleas, heather, magnolias, and many other flowering trees. So, for the decorative beds and border gardens, life is easier for you (and the plants!) if you stick to the acid loving models.

Now, the vegetable garden is a different story. This is where you might want to test your soil for ph before making any amendments. Amending garden soil for ph provides maximum utilization of nutrients and fertilizers to help your vegetables perform at their best. A very general rule is that vegetables like soil ph between 6.0 and 7.5 with root veggies preferring a little bit on the alkaline side and those that are edible above the ground prefer it a little bit acidic. So, the root veggies can be planted in soil amended with a bit of lime or maybe a dusting of wood ash. Both additives provide an increase to the ph of your soil. Wood ash is easily available in Gold River since many people have wood stoves. Just be careful with it, as too much can create soil that won’t allow nutrients to be taken up by plants. Wood ash also wards off root maggots and provides potassium. As with lime, the best time to add wood ash is in the fall. However, they may be added in the spring, but just won’t have as much time to work. The right amount is four to five pounds, or shovelfuls, per 100 square feet, mixed into the top two to three inches of soil.

Now, after you’ve amended your soil for ph, you can now consider fertilizer: N P K. These three symbols are on every package of fertilizer indicating the ratio of nitrogen (for green health), phosphorous (for healthy roots and flowers) and potassium (for a healthy plant immune system). All fertilizers work best when soil is in the right zone of ph. I would like to digress for one comment: as I have indicated in previous articles, in Gold River it is good to lime your lawn before you start pouring the fertilizer on. Without the lime, you might be wasting your money. Back to the vegetable garden, the root growth for your veggies can be enhanced by adding extra phosphorous in the form of bone meal or super phosphate (0-20-0). Sprinkle it directly onto the rows just before planting the seeds, and rake it into the top inch of the soil so it can be used by the young seedlings when they come up. As you may notice, I am not very fussy about exact amounts, but a “handful” is about right for every four to six square feet. Phosphorous won’t burn the seeds, but the plants will only use as much as they need. So, extra handfuls might just go to waste.

One last point about the soil in your vegetable garden is about the texture. When squeezing a handful of dirt, it should almost stay in a clump. Additives such as manure, compost, and sea soil give the soil more weight; and peat moss, sand, vermiculite, or perlite can be used to lighten it. These additives do add acidity to the soil, however, it is minimal.

There is much more detail on this topic, that can be a bit tedious and boring for some of us. However, more research may help others. When gardening, so many things are out of our control: weather, bugs, diseases, etc.. Nowadays, we are fortunate to have the internet at our finger tips to help us solve many gardening problems. A good vegetable garden is the result of some careful work and education combined with plain and simple good luck. Even though every season is a bit of a gamble, it helps to keep us interested to play the game. So, I wish you good luck for the season of 2015!

Bridgite Messer

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