Michelle Smith

Black mustard seed. Photo by Sanjay Acharya, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66997861

Winter Greens

November 13, 2019 at 12:50 pm

What to do this week The garden is just about done for the year, but already I want to keep the taste of something fresh in my kitchen. Fortunately this year it is not too late to bring some of the garden indoors, or to extend the picking season. LastRead...

Flooded farmland after Tropical Storm Lee, Campbell Hall, NY (Photo by Daniel Case [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Bean There: Weathering Climate Change

November 6, 2019 at 2:19 pm

The cat and I huddled under the blankets in the dark as the wind outside made the whole house shudder. The power had been out for eight hours and would stay out for several days or longer for over 80% of the province, according to my battery-operated radio. “It’s okay,”Read More

By Matt MacGillivray from Toronto, Canada - Black-capped Chickadee, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74580795

Winter Preparations: A Slightly Lazy Gardener’s Guide

November 6, 2019 at 2:15 pm

What to do this week It’s time to wrap up the gardening season, but there doesn’t need to be a wholesale effort to rake and tidy up before winter. It’s always nice to save on work and if that laziness also encourages wildlife, then that’s a win as far asRead More

En høstarbejder (farmer taking a break) by Danish painter Peter Hansen (1868-1928), oil on canvas (cropped). Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Gardener Downs Tools (for the Week)

October 23, 2019 at 1:30 pm

What to do this week Michelle Smith is away this week. She’ll be back at her regularly scheduled time next issue, but in the meantime, feel free to peruse her now quite substantial archive of past columns for some season-appropriate gardening advice. This time last year, for instance, she wasRead...

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Issues

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Issues

October 18, 2019 at 11:11 am

First of all, thank you to the candidates who took the time to respond to our questions — Michelle Dockrill, Lois Foster, Jodi McDavid and Kenzie MacNeil. As promised, we extended the deadline to Thursday at 5:00 PM for those candidates who had not yet replied, and here are theRead More

Climate strikers at Civic Centre, Sydney, NS. 27 September 2019. (Spectator photo)

Michelle Smith Asks About Climate Change

October 16, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Michelle Smith, the Spectator‘s resident gardener and expert on all things agricultural, asked this question of federal candidates in Cape Breton Canso and Sydney-Victoria: Increasingly extreme weather events due to climate change are challenging agricultural producers. Clearly, decisive action needs to be taken to slow or stop the process ofRead...

Gooseberry Photo: Pavel Leman - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4424742

Go Forth and Multiply: The Art of Propagation

October 9, 2019 at 1:47 pm

What to do this week Soon the autumn gales will strip the leaves off the trees and shrubs and the cold nights will send them into their winter slumber. That is the time for collecting stems of this year’s growth to propagate your favourite fruit and ornamental bushes. Some ofRead More

Oak seed/leaf.  Photo: Supportstorm - Own work, Public Domain https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8340734

Getting the Garlic In (And Other Pre-Freeze Garden Tasks)

October 2, 2019 at 1:02 pm

What to do this week With that nip in the air at night, it is time to think about planting bulbs. Especially those of the good Stinking Rose, otherwise known as garlic. You can plant garlic and other bulbs any time from now to the end of October. Sometimes youRead More

Kartoffeloptagning (studie) - 1911 By Jens Birkholm - bruun-rasmussen.dk, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68613890

It’s Harvest Time, You Tubers!

September 25, 2019 at 12:00 pm

What to do this week With wind and cold in the forecast – and supposing you haven’t already been hit by frost – it’s time to get serious about the winter food supply. I mean, you‘d better start digging your potatoes and getting them down into the cellar. If youRead More

Photo: Baden de, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59991987

Picking Up Post-Storm

September 18, 2019 at 1:52 pm

What to do this week Unsurprisingly, given this last week, I am in salvage mode. Few gardens escaped the effects of the hurricane, and autumnal frost warnings have started, so the rush has begun to reap and gather as much as I can. First off, I am assessing the damageRead More