Communities in Bloom Week

This week is Communities in Bloom Week in Strathcona County — as proclaimed by Deputy Mayor Aaron Nelson. The full proclamation is here.

“Communities in Bloom Week celebrates the positive impact Communities in Bloom has on communities. Residents of all ages and abilities can make a meaningful impact by volunteering with Strathcona in Bloom. From nominating your neighbour’s garden, to picking up the trowel and maintaining a flower bed in your neighbourhood, anyone can become involved!”

Preparations for this summer are well underway — greenhouses have been contacted, bed plans are being made, volunteers are being recruited etc. It is not too late to volunteer. We still need 10-20 volunteers to do our best this summer. Check out our Volunteer posts and let us know. We need all of you to be the best we can be.

Volunteer with Us

Spring is here and summer is fast approaching. With that, we will start the active season of Strathcona in Bloom. SIB runs on volunteers; we have close to 100 volunteers that help us with our annual summer programs. Would you like to volunteer with us?

There are three programs we will need volunteers for:

Community Flowerbed Program — we will need perhaps 3-5 new volunteers to assist with our flowerbed program. The volunteers in this program work with a team of 3-4 people to choose flowers, plant a flowerbed, weed the flowerbed all summer and then clean the bed in late September. Volunteers are assigned to one specific bed and typically require a couple hours time each week from late May to late September.

Front Yard Recognition Program — we will need 10-12 volunteers to assist with this program. The volunteers in this program will receive public nominations of front yards in Sherwood Park and then deliver a sign and information to the owners of these yards. The volunteers may also see yards deserving of a nomination and make the nomination themselves — particularly if there is a street with no nominations. This program runs from mid-June to mid-July and will require 5+ hours each week during that period.

Public Spaces Program — we will need 2-4 volunteers to assist with this program. The volunteers in this program will receive public nominations of businesses, churches etc. etc. in Sherwood Park and then deliver a sign and information to the owners of these yards. This program runs from mid-June to mid-August and will require 3-5 hours each week during that period.

If you are interested in volunteering with one of these programs is of interest to you, please send an email to:

We may not be able to accommodate everyone’s preferred program but we will do the best we can.

Happy planting!!

Indoor Planting Calendar

Spring has been slow to arrive ….. but we all know it will come and, before too long, summer will follow.

Do you start plants indoors from seed to transplant outside? If you are thinking of starting vegetable seedlings, here are some recommendations for gardeners in our area.

Things you could have started in March

The best time to sow pepper seeds indoors is the beginning of March. Try to keep them as warm as you can during germination by keeping the seed tray by a sunny window.

Seed your tomatoes about 8 weeks before the last frost (around early March).

Sow the seeds about 3 mm deep in a moist seedling mix. You won’t need excess light during germination but as soon as they emerge pour as much light on them as possible.

Things to start in April

Broccoli and Cauliflower
It’s a good idea to start broccoli from seed in early April to make sure it’s ready for harvest before the first hard frosts of fall. Provide lots of light and keep it inside until the last frosts have passed.

Cucumbers are easy to grow indoors and started them in mid April will give a convenient jump start to the season. Plant the seeds about a half inch deep in 3” pots. I recommend only planting 1-2 seeds per pot as they grow quickly.

The seeds prefer a temperature of 20-25 degrees C, but will germinate, albeit grudgingly, with slightly less.

Zucchini & Summer Squash
Starting squash from seed is easy and can be done in late April. Make sure you have a warm spot (above 20 degrees C if possible) and plant 1 or 2 seeds in each 3” pot.

Keep the soil moist and they will germinate in about a week. Give them as much light as possible and they’ll grow quickly. They grow quickly so don’t start them too soon.

Most other vegetable seeds can be seeded directly in the garden when the soil is warm — you can plant them a few weeks before the expected last frost as it will take time for them to germinate. We need a little sun and warm temperatures to warm our soil up this spring!!

Most flower seeds should have been started now if you already haven’t — they take a bit longer to get to a size suitable for spring transplanting.