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Off The Page podcast: Ask an expert gardener

A Q&A session with Duchess of Dirt expert gardener Leslie Cox

She is a gardener, an educator, owner (along with her husband) of Growing Concern Cottage Garden and writes a twice-monthly column for the Record on all things gardening - and now is a returning guest on the Record’s Off The Page podcast.

Leslie Cox returns this week for the May 11 episode to answer listeners’ questions about all things gardening and getting the garden ready for summer.

Readers sent in a variety of questions, but the most popular was the effect of a cool, wet spring on their gardens, and particularly, what vegetables or flowers should be planted right now.

Cox explained that cool-season vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, peas, cabbage, cauliflower and onions can be planted now, but veggies such as peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes and melons should be held until temperatures are at least 10C overnight.

Other questions inquired about the best plants or flowers for pollinators, which Cox noted can include anything within the mint family, oregano, bellflowers and honeysuckle.

Another common question was about last summer’s warm temperature, specifically what to do if the area experiences another heat dome.

“This is the question of the decade,” replied Cox in the episode. “I think with the heat that we’re getting and if we going to keep getting these heat domes every summer or even every other summer it could possibly bring about big changes in our garden.”

She suggested adding mulch to keep the water in the soil for as long as possible, having rain barrels attached to eavestroughs and screening or covering plants to cut sun exposure.

“At the moment, we don’t really know how long this is going to go on. Is this with us forever? Or is this just a hiccup because Mother Earth is upset with us and she’s just giving us a warning to better pay attention?”

As for other tips and tricks to prepare your garden for the upcoming season? You’ll have to listen to the podcast in order to find out.

To listen to the full episode, download Off The Page on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and everywhere podcasts are heard, or visit

New episodes of Off The Page drop every Wednesday.

To submit podcast topics or guest ideas, email

Erin Haluschak

About the Author: Erin Haluschak

Erin Haluschak is a journalist with the Comox Valley Record since 2008. She is also the editor of Trio Magazine...
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