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Plantland Home & Garden

Prince George, BC, Canada

Gardening Tips

What you Need to Know When You Don't Have a Green Thumb

Frequently Asked Questions – Kim Barnes

Growing Orchids

Kim Barnes has been an employee for a few years at Art Knapps!¬† In between managing a full house of four kids and her husband she comes to work on weekends (maybe it’s relaxation for her ūüėČ ) You will see Kim every weekend at our hart location when it is open and for a couple months at our west location when it is Christmas.¬† She has started a blog¬†and¬†she has given us permission to post it on our site.¬† We find it a great read, in addition to the other articles posted, as it breaks down gardening for the¬†beginner gardener.¬† We hope you enjoy her blogs! ¬†


At work we get a lot of repeat questions. I thought I would answer some of the more common ones as my first official post.

What zone are we? Wait, what does zone mean? Prince George is Zone 3. Zones refer to the temperature range a plant can tolerate. Plants can be used as an annual outside of their zone. For a plant to be a perennial it needs to be within its zone. This leads to the next question.

What is the difference between a perennial and an annual? An annual is a plant that will need to be replanted each year. A perennial will come back every year as long as it is zoned for your area.

What do the numbers on fertilizer mean? The numbers on the fertilizer represent the percentage of nutrients. The first number is nitrogen. It is responsible for the growth and greenery. Nitrogen will help green plants up quickly. The second number is the phosphorus. Phosphorus promotes the root development and flowering. This is especially important in vegetables. The last number is the potash. The potash helps with the overall health and ability to resist diseases.

Why do I need to fertilize? Over time plants will use up the naturally occurring nutrients in the soil. The fertilizer will give the plants an extra boost. It will encourage production in vegetables and fruits resulting in a higher yield.

What does soil PH mean? Soil ph refers to the measure of acidity and alkalinity of the soil. It is a range between 0 to 14. 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. Most plants thrive between 5.5 and 7 but it does vary plant to plant.

How do I find out my soil PH? And how do I adjust it if needed? To find out your soil PH you can purchase a soil test kit. There are a few different kits available. You can purchase a single PH test which will do one soil sample. You can also purchase a kit that contains a PH test, a nitrogen test, a phosphorus test and a potash test. From there you can purchase kits that have more than one of each test so you can do multiple areas in your garden. If you need to adjust the PH you can add sulphur or lime depending on which way you need to go.