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​​​Bringing outdoor fun to your home to share with the whole family!

​Environmental Events

In celebration of National Pollinator Week (June 22-28), the latest annual pollinator poster is now live! Titled "Our Future Flies With Pollinators​," this poster depicts the services pollinators provide through the lens of planetary health and climate action.

Did you know May 12th is the first official Provincial Day of Action on Litter? Get involved and do your part to prevent, reduce, and divert waste in your community! Visit a few of the links below to get started:

Reduce litter in our neighbourhoods and parks. Waste Reduction Week is October 19-25, 2020. Keep your eyes peeled for a King Township community clean up challenge around that time!​

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​Did you celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22?  Earth Day Canada has some great ideas for environmental activities to do at home to celebrate: https://earthday.ca/april-22/campaign/earthdayathome/

Check out Earth Day Canada's Facebook page for 22 actions and activities they recommended leading up to Earth Day, these are still great ideas to peruse after April 22nd: https://www.facebook.com/earthday.ca/

Did you know Saturday, May 9th is World Migratory Bird Day? This day highlights the incredible migrations many different species of birds make between winter and summer grounds. Celebrate by downloading some colouring pages or help track some migratory birds that fly through your neighbourhood: https://www.migratorybirdday.org/resources/

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Sign up for the Dufferin Marsh Nature Connection's newsletter! They are providing regular updates around the marsh in Schomberg, including interesting resources and volunteer highlights: http://www.dufferinmarsh.ca/

​E-Learning Opportunities

​​Do you know why native pollinators are so important? King Township is a Certified Bee City (https://beecitycanada.org/) and we are committed to doing our part to spread the word about how important native pollinators are!  See the following website for some fun at-home activities you can do with your family while practicing physical distancing: https://www.pollinator.org/parents-and-kids

Access Pollinator Partnership Canada's video learning centre to watch a whole host of webinars that focus on topics ranging from monarch conservation to native bees: https://www.pollinator.org/webinars

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Stuck at home and interested in trying your hand at gardening this summer? In The Zone (in partnership with Carolinian Canada and WWF) is hosting a series of educational webinars to teach you about choosing the right plants for your garden type, gardening in small spaces, citizen science, edible plants, and more! Visit Garden ​for Wildlife​ for the webinar schedule. 

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Keep the kids (and yourself!) learning about environmental topics ranging from microplastics to spring tree bud identification to zoo critters! Check out the following e-learning opportunities put out by a host of great local organizations:

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Learn about "The Wild and Wonderful Word of Bees" from a talk by Dr. Laurence Packer, an expert in the field of bees: http://nanps.org/events/save-the-dates-nanps-spring-speaker-series-2020-the-pollinators-bees-butterflies/

​Gardening

NEW - How to Grow Lots of Veggies in Small Spaces (By: Sarah Lozanova)

Many of us enjoy adding homegrown herbs, garden fresh tomatoes, and crispy salad greens to our meals, but are limited in what we can grow ourselves. Thankfully, even the most urban yards and patios have the potential for producing relatively high yields.

Here are some helpful tactics that can help you cultivate the most produce per square foot of your garden, large or small.

Choose High-yield Crops

Some vegetables produce more food in a given space than others. This varies by location, depending on your soil, available sunlight, and climate. Create a plan for your garden that takes the characteristics and preferences of crops into account.

In general, pea plants and radishes are great veggies to plant in the early spring before much else will grow. Other plants can go in their spot in the garden after the harvest, and pea plants even help fix nitrogen in the soil for your next crop.

Peppers are relatively small plants that grow up instead of out. Although they take up a decent amount of space, tomatoes can produce massive yields. Pole beans and cucumbers don't take up that much space if they grow up trellises. Tomatoes, peppers, and greens are especially well suited for container gardens on patios or balconies.

Kale and Swiss chard will produce greens for months and allow you to harvest them numerous times throughout the growing season. Spinach, lettuce, arugula, and baby greens can be planted in small spaces or even as an edge on garden beds.

Succession Planting

The timing of crops is essential to getting the best harvest. In most areas, gardeners can stagger plantings to get yields of various crops in the same spot at different times. This method, called succession planting, is a great way to make efficient use of space but requires gardeners to pay close attention to what, where, and when they plant.

When a plant is no longer productive, remove it and plant something else that thrives during that part of the growing season. Some seeds will thrive in cold soils, such as spinach, radishes, arugula, peas, green onions, and broccoli. Other plants, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, peppers, eggplant, edamame, and squash, like warmer weather.

Staggered Planting

Plants tend to yield the most at a certain point and then decline. If you space out the planting by two or four weeks, you will sustain a smaller harvest for a longer period of time. This is a good approach if you do not want to preserve the harvest and want to eat as much as possible while it is fresh. Brocolli, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, cabbage, onions, and radishes all work well with staggered plantings.

Enrich the Soil

Soil fertility is essential for thriving, healthy veggies. If something is off with your soil quality, it is essential to discover and remedy this. A number of different soil amendments increase nutrient content, including compost, manure, leaf mulch, seaweed, fish emulsion, bone meal, and feather meal. Adding organic matter also helps soil hold moisture. Place mulch on top of the soil to add nutrients slowly as it breaks down, suppress weeds, and lock in moisture.

Whenever possible, avoid synthetic pesticides that hinder microbes and leave chemicals in the soil. When in doubt, send in a soil sample for testing to determine if nutrients are lacking, or the soil pH is outside of the ideal range.

Minimize Wasted Space

To get more crops in a smaller space, pay attention to how you arrange them. Instead of planting in rows, try organizing plants in triangles to maximize yields. Keep in mind that plant spacing is a balancing act though. Overcrowded plants won't get as big, so this is counterproductive to high crop yield. If you noticed that you have overplanted, remove some of the less vigorous looking plants. Paths can take up a lot of space, so raised beds are a popular way to maximize yields in small spaces.

Choose Crops, Varieties, and Seeds Carefully

Not all veggie seeds are created equal. Some veggies may not prosper in your yard due to climate, soil, and available sunlight. Okra, for example, thrives in high heat and humidity but will barely produce a harvest in colder climates.

If you are just getting started gardening or are new to the area, ask local veteran gardeners about what crops have been most successful for them. Look for garden seeds that were produced in your region for better germination and yields. Faster maturing plant varieties will produce crops more quickly, which helps assist in succession-planting strategies. Heirloom seed varieties that were developed in your area might be especially well suited for your local climate.​

Original article: https://earth911.com/home-garden/high-crop-yields-small-places/

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Want to grow plants in your garden to help native pollinators?  Here are a few great planting guides to check out: ​


Want to have some fun while making the world a greener, more environmentally-friendly place? Make exploding seed balls that are both fun to throw and an easy way to grow native wildflowers. All you need are some native wildflower seeds (try milkweed!), some clay (from the dollar store is great), water, and get ready to get your hands dirty!  Once made and dried, throw these seed balls in a patch of dirt and watch them grow: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/children/making-seed-balls.htm

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​Interested in starting your own vegetable garden this summer? Start your seeds indoors with the use of toilet paper rolls to give your seedlings their best shot at survival: https://www.facebook.com/kingprc/posts/10156659840526572

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​Want to boost the growth of your indoor seedlings?  Make your own simple do-it-yourself greenhouse!  This is great project to involve the kids in and is very simple to set up: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Mini-Greenhouse

Here is an example of one the Cold Creek staff made: https://i.imgur.com/oOPWO4J.jpg

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For more tips and tricks on how to successfully grow your own food, visit a few of the following links from gardening experts: http://markcullen.com/practical-tips-from-mark-and-ben-cullen/

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Planning out your garden for this upcoming season of blooms? Look into using native wildflowers and plants to benefit our native pollinators: https://inthezonegardens.ca/

​Backyard Games - Click on the title to access the website

Ladder Bean Bag Toss

Supplies Needed:

  1. Ladder
  2. Bean Bags (or any other household item to toss)
  3. Tape
  4. Paper
  5. Markers​

Ring Toss 

Supplies Needed:

Ring toss board:

  1.     1 round pine panel 18-in x 18-in
  2.    7/8″ drill bit
  3.    7/8″ dowels (4ft long), cut into 4 11-in pieces & 1 13″ piece
  4.   Two (or more) paint colors of your choice

Rings:

  1.     1/2″ Nylon rope – cut into 12″ pieces
  2.     Bonding Glue (to help secure the ends together0
  3.     Duck Tape – your choice of colors​​

Tarp Toss 

Supplies Needed:

  1. Tarp
  2. Ruler
  3. Permenant Market
  4. Scissors
  5. Duct Tape
  6. Paint​

Backyard Frisbee Golf 

Supplies Needed:

  1. Tomato plant cages
  2. Round laundry baskets (able to fit inside the top of the tomato cage)​

Outdoor Tic-Tac-Toe

Supplies Needed:

  1. Paint
  2. Log/piece of wood
  3. 10 Rocks​

Lawn Twister

Supplies Needed:

  1. Spray Paint (washable if you have)
  2. String
  3. Circle Template​

Hoola Hoop Croquet 

Supplies Needed:

  1. Hoola Hoops
  2. Balls to Kick
  3. Spray Paint (if you want to paint your ball)
  4. Painters Tape (if you want to paint your ball)​

Marshmallow Shooters​ 

Supplies Needed

  1. Tiny Marshmallows
  2. PVC Piping (see instructions)​​

​Getting Outside

Looking for trails to explore?  Here are a few King trails that are still open to the public. However, please keep physical distancing protocols in mind and continue using trail etiquette if you decide to hike the trails. 

https://www.facebook.com/kingprc/posts/10156688245621572


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