The long weekend brought some much needed sunshine to Montreal and that had the city’s garden centres busy as people sought to try out their green thumbs on Monday.

Chris Vincelli, who works at his family’s centre, trouble shooting and giving advice is a big part of his day at this time of year.

“Usually it’s the three weeks. It’s this weekend, next weekend and the weekend after that,” he said. “Every year, those three weeks are very important.”

Some of those doing their shopping said it helps to get an early start to maximize the short summer months. But Vincelli said those looking to do their own gardening have to know a lot of dos and don’ts.

The most common mistake, he said, is not watering enough.

“If somebody comes to see us and they have trouble, 98 per cent of the time it’s because they didn’t water it,” he said. “Plants are living things. It’s like owning a puppy or buying a puppy. You have to look after what you’ve purchased.”

Tereska Gesing, who runs Seedling Garden Centre, said a successful garden needs healthy soil.

“It’s extremely important to start with a soil that’s super rich, light and fluffy, has excellent nutrient retention, water retention,” she said.

She noted that the perfect garden can take some trial and error but that lots of water, sun and space to grow, most people should see some results.

“Be present in your garden and don’t go visit it once a month and see if it’s full of weeds and diseases,” she advised.