Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 2

What to do this week:

The seed displays are not out yet at the local hardware store, but anyone who is serious about gardening, or wanting to be serious about gardening, should not be buying

By D.M. Ferry & Co.; Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection. (Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

seeds there anyway. You may have been grabbing seeds there until now, and you may get away with it in a pinch, but it is better to plan what you are going to grow. That is where seed catalogs come in. For one thing, the selection will be so much better than you can get locally. For another thing, there is a guarantee of quality. When the reputable sources say 90% germination, you will get 90% germination.

My “go to” source is the Halifax Seed Company. They are the oldest, continuously run seed company in Canada. I think they have been in business for over a century. They are also family run. They have great quality, great customer service, and they specialize in seeds that are adaptable to Nova Scotia conditions. I also buy from William Dam, a supplier based in Ontario. I like these two sources because their selections are thoughtful and well put together, and they have a real commitment to quality. You may want to try the smaller or newer seed companies. Their greatest charm is passion, but do test them out on a few things until you have had positive experience.

So, there is no big rush if you are only going to plant carrots, lettuce and tomato, but if you want to think about onions, you should get your order in soon. Onions are daylight adaptive. The bigger and stronger you can get them before the summer solstice, the bigger and stronger onions you are going to harvest. If you want to start onions from seed, you had best get the seeds now.

Next week I will cover a bit more about what seeds you should start when. You will need a timeline that will make the most effective use of your windowsills.


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Market gardener, farmer, workshop leader, seed-saver, political candidate and mother, Michelle Smith has spent over 30 years coping with the challenges of our bioregion and in the process has built a store of practical and technical knowledge. The Inverness resident has served on the board of Seeds of Diversity Canada and represented Alternative Producers with the Federation of Agriculture but can do nothing about her hair. She is pictured with a head of Club Wheat, a seed that shares her approach to hairdressing.



Featured image: Mixed onions, © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons


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