Canadian Online/Mail Order Seed Supplier List

I created this list for Alberta Gardening, the Facebook group I manage … and thought it might be super valuable here, as well! This list includes nursery stock, garlic, potatoes, and mushroom spawn suppliers.

ONLINE/MAIL ORDER SEED & PLANT SUPPLIERS – CANADA

2021

SEEDS – ALBERTA

A’BUNADH SEEDS – (Cherhill) – www.abunadhseeds.com

ALBERTA GIRL ACRES – (Vulcan; limited offerings of flower seeds, see website) – www.albertagirlacres.com

ALCLA NATIVE PLANTS – (Calgary ; seeds and plugs) – www.alclanativeplants.com

BAILEY HILL GREENHOUSE – (Cowley; limited offerings of sweet pea seeds, see website) – www.baileyhillgreenhouse.blogspot.com

CASEY’S HEIRLOOM TOMATOES – (Airdrie) – www.caseysheirloomtomatoes.ca

CO-CREATIVE SEEDS – (Turner Valley) – contact info TBD

DEB’S GREENHOUSE – (Morinville) – https://www.debsgreenhouse.com/

HANNA’S SEEDS – (Lacombe; specializes in grasses/lawn/forage seed) – www.hannasseeds.com

HARMONIC HERBS – (Barrhead) – www.harmonicherbs.com

HEIRLOOM SEED VAULT – (Southern Alberta) – www.heirloomseedvault.com

WILD ABOUT FLOWERS (Turner Valley; specializes in wildflower seeds and plugs) – www.wildaboutflowers.ca

WILDROSE HERITAGE SEED COMPANY (Lethbridge) – www.wildroseheritageseed.com

SEEDS – SASKATCHEWAN AND MANITOBA

BLAZING STAR WILDFLOWER SEED CO. (Saskatchewan) – www.Growwildflowers.ca

EARLY’S FARM & GARDEN – (Saskatchewan) – www.earlysgarden.com

HERITAGE HARVEST SEED – (Manitoba) – www.heritageharvestseed.com

LINDENBERG SEEDS – (Manitoba) – www.lindenbergseeds.ca

MANDY’S GREENHOUSE – (Manitoba) – www.mandysgreenhouse.com

MCKENZIE SEEDS – (Manitoba) – www.mckenzieseeds.com

MUMM’S SPROUTING SEEDS – (Saskatchewan) – www.sprouting.com

PRAIRIE GARDEN SEEDS – (Saskatchewan) – www.prseeds.ca

PRAIRIE ORIGINALS – (Manitoba) – www.prairieoriginals.com

SAGE GARDEN HERBS – (Manitoba) – www.herbs.mb.ca

T&T SEEDS – (Manitoba) – www.ttseeds.com

WHISTLING PRAIRIE FLOWERS – (Saskatchewan) – www.whistlingprairieflowers.com

WINNIPEG SWEET POTATO – (Manitoba) – www.winnipegsweetpotato.com

SEEDS – REST OF CANADA

AGROHAITAI – (Ontario ; specialty: Asian vegetables) – www.agrohaitai.com

ANNAPOLIS SEEDS – (Nova Scotia) – www.annapolisseeds.com

ATLANTIC PEPPER SEEDS – (New Brunswick; specializes in chili peppers) – www.pepperseeds.ca

BERTON SEEDS – (Ontario) – www.bertonseeds.ca

B.C.’S WILD HERITAGE SEEDS – (British Columbia) – www.Bcwildheritage.com

B.C. ECO SEED COOP – (British Columbia) – www.bcecoseedcoop.com

BIRD AND BEE – (Ontario) – www.birdandbee.ca

BLUESTEM NURSERY – (British Columbia) – www.bluestem.ca

CHATHAM GARDEN SEEDS – (Ontario; specializes in seed kit for Canadian gardeners) – https://chathamgardensseeds.com/

CHOKED UP – (British Columbia; specializes in Jerusalem artichokes) – www.chokedup.ca

COCHRANE FAMILY FARM – (Nova Scotia) – www.cochranefamilyfarm.com

DE DELL SEEDS – (Ontario; specialty: corn) – www.dedellseeds.com

EAGLERIDGE SEEDS – (British Columbia) – www.eagleridgeseeds.com

ETERNAL SEED – (British Columbia) – www.eternalseed.ca

FLORABUNDA SEEDS – (Ontario) – www.florabundaseeds.com

FULL CIRCLE SEEDS – (British Columbia) – www.fullcircleseeds.com

GELERT GARDEN FARM (Ontario; specializes in sweet potato slips) – www.gelertgardenfarm.ca

GRETA’S ORGANIC GARDENS – (Ontario) – www.seeds-organic.com

HALIFAX SEEDS – (Nova Scotia) – www.halifaxseed.ca

HAWTHORN FARM ORGANIC SEEDS – (Ontario) – www.hawthornfarm.ca

HERITAGE SEED & PRODUCE – (Ontario) – www.heritageseedandproduce.com

HOMESTEAD ORGANICS – (Ontario) – www.homesteadorganics.ca

HOPE SEEDS AND PERENNIALS – (Nova Scotia) – www.hopeseed.com

HORIZON SEEDS – (Ontario; specialty: corn) – www.horizonseeds.ca

HOWARD DILL ENTERPRISES – (Nova Scotia; specialty: giant pumpkins and squash) www.howarddill.com

INCREDIBLE SEED COMPANY – (Nova Scotia) – www.incredibleseeds.ca

JARDIN DES VIE-LA-JOIE – (Quebec) – www.vielajoie.com

JARDINS DE LA GAILLARDE – (Quebec) – www.jardinsdelagaillarde.ca/fr/accueil

KITCHEN TABLE SEED HOUSE – (Ontario) – www.kitchentableseedhouse.ca

LA FINQUITA – (Nova Scotia) – www.lafinquita.ca

LA SOCIETE DES PLANTES – (Quebec) – www.lasocietedesplantes.com

LAUGHING SWAN FARM – (British Columbia) – www.laughingswanfarm.com

LE JARDIN DE JULIE – (Quebec) – www.jardindejulie.com

LE POTAGER ORNEMENTAL DE CATHERINE – (Quebec) – www.potagerornemental.com

LES JARDINS DE L’ÉCOUMÈNE – (Quebec) – www.ecoumene.com

LES SEMENCES DU BATTEUX – (Quebec) – www.lessemencesdubatteux.ca

MANHATTAN FARMS – (British Columbia) – www.manhattanfarms.ca

MAPPLE FARM – (New Brunswick) – www.mapplefarm.com

THE MARKET GARDEN – (Ontario) – www.themarketgarden.ca

MATCHBOX GARDEN & SEED CO. – (Ontario) – www.matchboxgarden.ca

METCHOSIN FARM – (British Columbia) – www.metchosinfarm.ca

MOUNTAIN GROVE SEED CO. – (Ontario) – www.mountaingroveseedcompany.com

MYCOFLOR – (Quebec) – www.mycoflor.ca

NARAMATA SEED COMPANY – (British Columbia) – www.naramataseedco.com

NORTON NATURALS – (Ontario) – www.nortonnaturals.com

OSC SEEDS – (Ontario) – www.oscseeds.com

PERFECTLY PERENNIAL HERBS AND SEEDS – (Newfoundland) – www.perfectlyperennial.ca

PIEBIRD SEEDS – (Ontario) – www.piebird.org

RAINBOW SEEDS – (New Brunswick) – www.rainbowseeds.ca

RAVENSONG SEEDS – (British Columbia) – www.ravensongseeds.com

REVIVAL SEEDS – (Nova Scotia) – www.revivalseeds.ca

RICHTER’S HERBS – (Ontario) – www.richters.com

SAANICH ORGANICS – (British Columbia) – www.saanichorganics.com/seeds

SAGE NORTH SEEDS – (Yukon) – www.yukonag.ca/listing/sage-north-seeds

SALT SPRING SEEDS – (British Columbia) – www.saltspringseeds.com

SEEDS FOR FOOD – (Quebec) – www.seedsforfood.net

SEEDS OF CREATION – (Ontario) – www.seedsofcreation.ca

THE SEED COMPANY (BY E.W. GAZE) – (Newfoundland) – www.theseedcompany.ca

SOGGY CREEK SEED COMPANY – (Ontario) – www.seeds.soggycreek.com

SOLANA SEEDS – (Quebec) – www.solanaseeds.netfirms.com/welcome.html

STEMS FLOWER FARM – (Ontario) – www.edgebrookfarm.ca

STOKES SEEDS– (Ontario) – www.stokeseeds.com

SUNSHINE FARM – (British Columbia) – www.sunshinefarm.net

TERRA EDIBLES – (Ontario) – www.terraedibles.ca

TERRE PROMISE – (Quebec) – www.terrepromise.ca

TOURNE-SOL COOPERATIVE FARM aka LA FERME COOPÉRATIVE TOURNE-SOL – (Quebec) – www.en.boutique.fermetournesol.qc.ca

URBAN HARVEST ORGANIC SEEDS – (Ontario) – www.Uharvest.ca

URBAN TOMATO – (Ontario) – www.urbantomato.ca

VESEYS – (Prince Edward Island) – www.veseys.com

WEST COAST SEEDS – (British Columbia) – www.westcoastseeds.com

W.H. PERRON (DOMINION) – (Quebec) – www.dominion-seed-house.com/en

WILLIAM DAM SEEDS – (Ontario) – www.damseeds.com

YONDER HILL FARM – (Nova Scotia) – www.yonderhillfarm.ca

SEED EXCHANGES

SEEDS OF DIVERSITY CANADA – (Ontario) – www.seeds.ca

GARLIC & POTATOES (ALBERTA & PRAIRIES)

DEEP ROOTS FARM (Lacombe) – www.facebook.com/visscherfarm/(Facebook)

EAGLE CREEK SEED POTATOES (Bowden) – www.seedpotatoes.ca

EARTH APPLES SEED POTATOES – (Stony Plain) – www.earthapples.com

THE GARLIC RANCH (Sundre; also sells roots such as peonies, hostas, dahlias, lilies; asparagus; horseradish; fruits such as strawberries and haskap) – www.thegarlicranch.com

ROAD 44 GARLIC – (Barrhead) – https://www.facebook.com/Road-44-Garlic-327340111244976/ (Facebook)

SASK GARLIC FARM – (Saskatchewan) – www.saskgarlic.ca

TWA DUGS – (Warburg; specializes in garlic) – www.twadugsfarm.ca

GARLIC AND POTATOES (REST OF CANADA)

ACROSS THE CREEK ORGANICS – (British Columbia; specializes in potatoes) – www.facebook.com/Across-the-Creek-Organics-108619199237183/(Facebook)

AUGUST’S HARVEST – (Ontario; specializes in garlic and onions) – www.augustsharvest.com

BOUNDARY GARLIC – (British Columbia) – www.garlicfarm.ca

THE CUTTING VEG – (Ontario; specializes in garlic) – www.thecuttingveg.com

D & H NEWMAN – (Ontario; specializes in garlic) – www.dandhnewman.ca

ELLENBERGER ORGANIC FARM – (Ontario; specializes in potatoes) – www.ellenbergerorganicfarm.com

EUREKA GARLIC – (Prince Edward Island) – www.facebook.com/Eureka-Garlic-121648878449492/(Facebook)

HELMER’S ORGANIC FARM (British Columbia; specializes in potatoes) – www.helmersorganic.com

NORWEGIAN CREEK FARM – (British Columbia; specializes in garlic) – www.norwegiancreekfarm.ca

RASA CREEK FARM – (British Columbia; specializes in garlic) – www.rasacreekfarm.com

RED LION ORGANIC FARMS – (British Columbia; specializes in garlic) – www.redlionorganic.com

TREES & SHRUBS/PERENNIALS (ALBERTA & PRAIRIES) – ONLINE ORDERING

DNA GARDENS – (Elnora, Alberta) – www.dnagardens.com

PARKLAND PEONIES – (deWinton, Alberta) – https://parklandpeonies.com/

SHERWOOD’S FORESTS – (Warburg, Alberta) – www.sherwoods-forests.com

TREE TIME – (Edmonton, Alberta) – http://treetime.ca

TREES & SHRUBS/PERENNIALS (REST OF CANADA) – ONLINE ORDERING

ARBORNAUT NURSERY – (British Columbia) – www.arbornautnursery.com

APPLE LUSCIOUS ORGANIC ORCHARD – (British Columbia) – www.appleluscious.com

CORN HILL NURSERY – (New Brunswick) – www.cornhillnursery.com

DENMAN ISLAND HERITAGE APPLE TREES – (British Columbia) – http://denmanapple.ca

FIGS FOR LIFE- (British Columbia) – www.figsforlife.ca

FRASER’S THIMBLE FARMS – (British Columbia) – www.thimblefarms.com

GENTLEMEN’S BACKYARD GARDEN AND APIARY – (New Brunswick) – www.thegentlemensbackyard.com

GOLDEN BOUGH TREE FARM – (Ontario) – www.goldenboughtrees.ca

GREEN BARN FARM – (Quebec) – www.greenbarnnursery.ca

GRIMO NUT NURSERY – (Ontario) – www.grimonut.com

HARDY FRUIT TREES NURSERY – (Quebec) – www.hardyfruittrees.ca

MOUNT ROYAL SEEDS – (Quebec; specializes in tree and shrub seeds) – www.mountroyalseeds.com

NUTCRACKER NURSERY & TREE FARM – (Quebec) – www.nutcrackernursery.com

PÉPINIÈRE ANCESTRALE – (Quebec) – www.pepiniereancestrale.com

RHORA’S NUT FARM & NURSERY – (Ontario) – www.nuttrees.com

SALT SPRING APPLE CO. – (British Columbia) – www.saltspringapplecompany.com

SILVER CREEK NURSERY – (Ontario) – www.silvercreeknursery.ca

TROPIC TO TROPIC PLANTS (British Columbia; specializes in tropical plants such as bananas, citrus) – www.tropic.ca

WHIFFLETREE FARM & NURSERY – (Ontario) – www.whiffletreefarmandnursery.ca

MUSHROOM SPAWN

ALL THE MUSHROOMS – (British Columbia) – www.facebook.com/allthemushrooms/ (Facebook)

FUNGI AKUAFO – (Calgary) – www.fungiakuafo.com/

FUNGI SUPPLY – www.fungisupply.ca/home

GROW MUSHROOMS CANADA – www.growmushroomscanada.ca

Please note: While I do use some of these seed suppliers, their presence on the list doesn’t imply or express any endorsement on my part.

And – if you have anything to add to the list, please drop me a line in the comments and I’ll make an update!

Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com

Cover reveal! The next two books of The Guides for the Prairie Gardener series are almost here …

Yesterday’s post about sowing seeds in a small space (indoor) garden is an excellent lead-in to my post today … in which I reveal the covers of the two latest books in The Guides for the Prairie Gardener series! (It’s almost as if I had planned it!) 😉 Janet Melrose and I spent the bulk of this year working hard on these two titles, which we are thrilled to add to the lineup consisting of The Prairie Gardener’s Go-To for Vegetables and The Prairie Gardener’s Go-To for Pests and Diseases. Once again, our publisher TouchWood Editions and our incredible editorial team have been crafting these books into something amazing and we’re super proud of the results!

Without further ado, here is The Prairie Gardener’s Go-To for Seeds!

And The Prairie Gardener’s Go-To for Small Spaces!

The books are set for release in early March. Of course, we’ll have a lot more details to share with you over the next few months, but we couldn’t wait any longer for you to feast your eyes on the covers! (A massive shout-out to Tree Abraham, our illustrator and designer, for the stellar work on these!). We are giddy with excitement!

Lettuce do some indoor gardening.

We’re in a winter wonderland right now! Almost 30 centimetres (12 inches) of snow fell on December 21st and 22nd here in Calgary and we all spent a few days digging ourselves out (then we had a bit more snow the night before last, just to add some extra frosting to an already thoroughly iced cake). Once again, I am grateful that I walk to work, and I am keenly looking forward to the snowshoeing treks this beautiful white fluffy stuff promises …

Now that winter has officially arrived, it’s time to start some lettuce! Not for outdoor transplant, because our spring doesn’t truly show up until June sometime (I exaggerate, but just barely), and I direct sow lettuce anyway, but for something to grow in the apartment. I recently upgraded my indoor growing system from the cobbled-together elements I’ve been using. Both set-ups are comprised of the same types of simple equipment – a grow light and a frame to put containers in – but the new one has aesthetic value and an ease of use that the old one didn’t quite possess (as well as a proper reservoir for watering, with a capillary mat. Not necessary, but absolutely delightful to have). Accordingly, ‘Flashy Trout Back’ is happening in my kitchen right now:

I don’t have room for any sort of big indoor gardening initiative (my little set-up lives on top of my refrigerator!), but I’ll grow some baby lettuce and some basil for a few months, then start some onion and tomato seeds for spring planting. If you live in a small space, don’t let the lack of room deter you from growing some food – especially during the cold winter months, when things seem pretty bleak and lonely. Small is something, and it can give you the chance to be inspired and creative and nurturing, which are some of the reasons why we garden in the first place. Plus – there’s the whole eating part. My mouth is watering just looking at those little lettuce seedlings. Aren’t they the most lovely things?

Community garden theft.

My onion harvest was grossly truncated by theft this year – aside from an earlier picking of smaller bulbs, the remainder of my onions (somewhere between 20 and 30 of them) were stolen from one of my community garden beds just over a week ago.  The garden coordinator said that theft had been a huge issue this year (perhaps understandably, given our current global health crisis and high unemployment rates) and she was taking measures to try to mitigate the problem.  Installing a trail cam to try to catch night-time prowlers was one first step, and she was considering new signage.  I have had some minor theft from my beds in previous years (a few carrots there, an onion or garlic bulb or two), but this was the first time that an entire crop had been taken.  I am always happy to help out anyone in need, so hopefully the thieves enjoyed some good meals from the plants.  It made me chuckle a little when I noticed that they left my beets and kohlrabi alone – it appears the culprits had a refined palate and only wanted onions!

Our community garden actually has several beds in the garden that have been set aside and planted by students from one of the schools in the area for anyone in the community (not garden members) to harvest whenever they want to, but our garden coordinator noted that these aren’t the beds that are mysteriously losing produce in the middle of the night.

If you’re on Facebook, the Calgary Horticultural Society held a Facebook Live session earlier in the year to discuss theft and vandalism in community gardens – you can view the archived video here. (It’s public, so you don’t have to be a member of the page to watch it). This sort of thing is fairly common in community gardens and you just have to be aware of it and try not to get too upset when you’re at the receiving end.  Gardeners do love to share, after all…I just kind of wish that the thieves would have left me a couple of onions.  🙂

*IMAGE courtesy Clipart Panda.

Plant profile: Currant tomatoes.

I’m a bit late in putting this up as I filmed it two weeks ago, but here is a short plant profile on ‘Candyland Red’ currant tomatoes. They’re a bit of a novelty, but I really love the size of the fruit for use in fresh green salads – they’re perfect!

The Guides for the Prairie Gardener…in the library!

The e-book versions have been available in the catalogue for several months now, but we unpacked some boxes of new books at work last week and guess what was in one? I couldn’t resist taking a photo of them sitting in their new homes out on the floor…hopefully they circulate like crazy!

(If you want to purchase, not merely borrow, a copy of the first two books in The Guides for the Prairie Gardener series, click here for more information! They are available in bookstores all across the Prairie provinces and via online retailers).

‘Dragon Tongue’ beans.

First harvest of beans today! These are ‘Dragon Tongue’, a popular, easy-to-grow heirloom bush bean from the Netherlands. Gotta love those purple streaks – so pretty! I highly recommend this cultivar for prairie gardens and beyond.

What are your favourite beans to grow?

Flowery Prose is now on YouTube.

I have started a YouTube channel about gardening on the prairies and beyond. You likely won’t see me in front of the camera anytime soon and the production values may lack a certain snazziness, but I’m dispensing some (hopefully) useful tips and showing off some plants in my garden and a bit further afield. If you’re interested, please check out my channel and subscribe to keep up with my new videos!

The Guides for the Prairie Gardener Newsletter – July/August 2020.

The Guides for the Prairie Gardener Newsletter

July/August 2020

Welcome to the fourth issue of The Guides for the Prairie Gardener Newsletter! Janet Melrose and I are keeping you up-to-date on everything related to our book series Guides for the Prairie Gardener, letting you know about what other Prairie gardening-related projects we’re working on, and throwing in some gardening trivia and newsy tidbits, just for fun!  If you like what you see, please follow us on our social media and hit the subscribe button on Flowery Prose. 

Book News and Events

Request for book reviews!

Do you have a copy of either of (or both of!) our books, The Prairie Gardener’s Go-To for Vegetables and The Prairie Gardener’s Go-To for Pests and Diseases? If you do, can you please help us out and take a couple of minutes to give us a rating and review on Amazon.ca/Amazon.com?  Don’t worry about leaving a lengthy review…two or three words is honestly all Amazon requires.  If you’re on GoodReads, leaving a rating over there would be wonderful, as well!  Thank you so much! We are so grateful for your support and encouragement and we hope you are finding the books informative, useful, and fun!

We’ve been on a podcast! 

Janet and I had the pleasure and honour of being guests on Agriculture for Life’s Know Your Food podcast, for not one, but TWO episodes! We talked about growing veggies and other edibles, encouraging children to catch the gardening bug, and the connection between the coronavirus pandemic, self-sustainability, and growing your own food…and a few other topics, besides!  Go to Ag for Life’s website to listen.

EPISODE ONE – click here!
EPISODE TWO – click here!

Winners of Flowery Prose blog contest

Congratulations to Sherryl H. and Linda H., who each won a set of The Prairie Gardener’s Go-To for Vegetables and The Prairie Gardener’s Go-To for Pests and Diseases by participating in a contest run here on the blog earlier this month.  A huge thank you to our publisher, TouchWood Editions, for supporting the contest and providing the prizes for the winners!

Out and About

Sheryl:

After being laid off for nearly four months, I am back to work at the library and, combined with my writing schedule and gardening and the need to eke out a few fun summer activities while there is still time, I’m a wee bit swamped. I have an ever-accumulating load of articles to write, questions to answer for curious (and occasionally desperate and fed up) gardeners, thunderstorms to dodge (my tomatoes have spent half of their lives covered up with sheets to prevent hailstones from destroying them), and So. Much. Weeding.  The weed du jour (besides quackgrass, which is actually the bane of my existence): stinkweed (Thlapsi arvense).  At least stinkweed is an annual, and it spreads via seeds instead of rhizomes (or seeds AND rhizomes – shudder).  It’s easy to pull but there seems to be an incredible amount of it this year.  Stinkweed has the glorious distinction that if it is allowed to set seed, one plant can produce 15,000 seeds.  I’m pretty sure all of those germinated in my raised beds this year, alongside a zillion annual chickweed plants (Stellaria media), which are another story altogether.

A few articles that I wrote earlier in the year have made it to publication – check out “Harvesting Rain’’ in the Summer 2020 issue of The Gardener for Canadian Climates and “Superb Serviceberries” in Mother Earth Gardener.  Both of these are available on newsstands across Canada – and in the case of Mother Earth Gardener, you can find it anywhere in the United States, as well. (You can also read the article online here!). I also went a little farther afield than usual and wrote an article called “Opossums as Pollinators in Brazil” for the April 2020 issue of 2 Million Blossoms.  As you can imagine, that one was fascinating to research! This is a beautifully-produced, brand-new publication out of Arizona, dedicated to celebrating and “protecting our pollinators.” (If interested, you can order a subscription from their website).

I also had a chance to do a story about houseplants, for a change – my article “Devil’s Ivy vs. Philodendron: Which is Which?” can be found online at Farmers’ Almanac Check it out here! And, finally, “Using Colour in the Garden” was published in the July 4, 2020 issue of the newspaper The Calgary HeraldYou can read it here

Janet:

Unlike Sheryl I have been taking a hiatus from writing and workshops since the middle of June, although my article ‘Attracting Butterflies with Annuals’ is in the Summer issue of The Gardener for Canadian Climates. It was a joy to research, write and photograph and I hope any of you that take in this magazine enjoys it too.

My Horticultural Therapy programs are all in abeyance too, except for one that is online!

So, my days have been filled with planting, sowing and weeding all the gardens that folks in the programs usually do. Plus, every so often, getting into my own garden.

One thing I haven’t had to much at all is watering, seeing as the sky has repeatedly provided ample moisture. Apparently, Alberta is experiencing La Nina like conditions in the atmosphere which have been contributing to our cooler and wetter weather lately. There is also a 50/50 chance of a full blown La Nina for this winter. Can we say cold and snowy?

I have been loving the chance to get out into the wild where the wildflowers have been stunning along with the insects and birds.  Usually my days are filled in the summer months and I seldom get the chance to go out and about. If there is a silver lining to this year, it is the joy we Albertans are getting from relearning our own backyards and wild spaces!

Mountain bluebell – Jasper, Alberta (photo by Janet Melrose)
Western lily – Jasper, Alberta (photo by Janet Melrose)
Lady’s slipper orchid – Jasper, Alberta (photo by Janet Melrose)

In Our Gardens

Sheryl:

As I already mentioned, weeds are what’s happening.  We have had a lot of rain and now there are weeds everywhere.  I’m a bit weird in that I don’t mind weeding: I like to relax in the sun and pull and dig them up by hand.  Weeding is just a really nice opportunity to turn the ol’ brain off and listen to the birds sing and the bees buzz in the garden.  More importantly, it’s a way to get really up close with your plants and see what’s going on almost at soil level.  Sometimes you get in a rush and you run to the garden to grab a handful of lettuce for a supper salad, or you sprinkle some water over everything before you dash out to work in the morning and you don’t really SEE what’s going on out there.  You need to sit and go slow to do that.  If you take a look at our pests and diseases book, you’ll notice that we talk about Integrated Pest (Plant) Management.  One of the tenets of that practice is monitoring.  That’s one of the things you can be doing while you weed: monitor your cultivated crops and ensure they are healthy and stress-free. If they aren’t, maybe you can see what the problem is while you’re out there weeding.

In July and August, everything is up in the garden and you’re just taking it all in, harvesting a few crops here and there and waiting on others to get larger or to produce more.  We’ve been enjoying spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard, scallions, garlic scapes, kohlrabi, and various herbs – and, of course, potatoes (which are honestly the real reason I grow vegetables, LOL). And now the beans are coming along as well and the zucchini (which is seriously late for me this year).   

A bit of hail damage isn’t stopping those nasturtiums and calendula! I always mix edible flowers into my veggie beds. (Photo by Sheryl Normandeau)

Janet:

I have been having so much fun working in my bed at Inglewood Community Garden. It is a 10’ x 4’ bed so I have taken our Victory Garden plan (which you can see here) and used it in this bed using the square foot gardening technique to control my urge to just add a bit more into it.

Bumper harvest – Inglewood Community Garden (photo by Janet Melrose)

It is producing magnificently with my four kale plants in full production, along with lettuce and chard galore. This year with all the rain our radishes were wonderful….mild tasting, beautiful round orbs and nary a radish maggot to be found. Soon it will be the turn of the pole beans, garlic and tomatoes as they all come into their own. And I grew the best cilantro I have ever done, with it tucked in the shadow of the tomatoes and under floating row cover the entire time. A testimony to the benefits of using this ‘gardeners’ best friend’, not to mention the value it provides as hail protection!

Best cilantro ever! (Photo by Janet Melrose)

As I love to get as much as I can from a space I have already sown more radishes where the cilantro was in the hopes that the conditions there will good enough to get a second delicious crop. While the first lettuces are being harvested using ‘crop and come again’ I have sown more seed to germinate while I munch through the first round of delicious leaves. When the garlic come out in a few weeks I have more seedlings growing in wintersowing jugs to take that space to continue the bounty!

Fantastic radishes! (Photo by Janet Melrose)

Floral Miscellany

Sheryl:

A couple of the questions that keep cropping up (pun intended) on the Alberta Gardening group on Facebook concern the topic of growing onions.  If you’re waiting on your onion bulbs to plump up and you know it’s going to be a few more weeks, what do you do if flowers suddenly show up?  Do you cut them off?  Do you leave them?  And some gardeners stomp down the tops of their onions at this point in the growing season because they think it will promote fatter bulbs – is that something that should be done?  (I’ve seen people recommend this for potatoes, as well).  Let’s get down to the bottom of this! 

Janet:

Continuing on with the Allium family, garlic (Allium sativum) is taking centre stage now. Our late and cool start to the growing season has meant that they are only now developing the distinctive curl to the scapes, but now is the time to snip those scapes back to the first set of leaves. A gourmet delight and expensive in stores, use them just as you would the cloves for your summer cuisine. They pickle and pesto perfectly too if you have too many to use fresh!

Then watch for the leaves to turn yellow and die back in the next few weeks. Once they are about one third brown harvest one to see if the bulb is big and well formed. If it is, then harvest the lot as left too long after that the quality starts to degrade. Cure for three weeks in a dry and warm spot and we have fantastic garlic for the winter months plus using the best bulbs our stock for planting come fall when the cycle begins again!

If you love growing garlic like I do check out Ron L. Engleland’s iconic book ‘Growing Great Garlic’.

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Sheryl: 

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Janet:

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‘Til later!  ♥Sheryl and Janet

‘Lollo Rosso’ lettuce.

I’m growing ‘Lollo Rosso’ lettuce in a container on my balcony this year – I’m very pleased with this one so far! It has resisted bolting and is a tasty and beautiful coral type for cut-and-come again harvests.

What are your favourite cultivars/types of lettuce to grow?