Michelle Smith

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 8

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 8

March 1, 2017 at 12:35 pm

What to do this week March is the month for winter care of trees and shrubs. They are dormant now, and will not suffer from the results of working on them. Trees and shrubs can be pruned for restoration or improved fruit production. You don’t want to do this inRead More

Wheat seeds germinating. (Photo by Oksana Lastochkina, own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons(

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 7

February 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm

What to do this week This week I want to talk about stratifying and scarifying. These are two tricks for germinating hard to start seeds such as the seeds of many perennial flowers. I mostly concentrate on food gardening but perennial flowers can be so nice, and lots of themRead More

Bean There: Comparing Apples to Apples

Bean There: Comparing Apples to Apples

February 15, 2017 at 11:30 am

I have something to confess. For someone in my position it is, well, more than a little embarrassing. An affront, if you will, to my public persona. I have spent money I could ill afford pursuing this, this interest, to the chagrin of my long-suffering children. To this strange compulsionRead More

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 6

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 6

February 15, 2017 at 11:20 am

Caring for seedlings: I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that it is very important for recently planted seeds to be warm until they germinate. Once germinated, they are a little more forgiving, and can be moved to a cooler windowsill so you can use your warmest spot for theRead More

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 5

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 5

February 8, 2017 at 1:20 pm

What to do this week: Now that we have seeds and soil, we need some sort of system for planting. You can use anything you want as your system — you just need containers that hold soil. You can use yogurt containers with holes in the bottom, cut-down milk cartonsRead More

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 4

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 4

February 1, 2017 at 2:05 pm

What to do this week: When you think about what seeds need to germinate, the main thing is soil, obviously. You want your soil to hold water, but not too much. Roots need air too, just like us. So you want something that holds water but doesn’t get soggy, holdsRead More

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 3

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 3

January 25, 2017 at 2:50 pm

What to do this week: So now that the seeds are ordered, let’s plan those windowsills. Onions get the first rotation on the best windowsill. Best means warmth and light. You can plant onions by mid-FEBRUARY. You can also start new perennial flowers then. I tell you, compared to buyingRead More

Bean There: Check Your Pulse

Bean There: Check Your Pulse

January 18, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Editor’s Note: This week marks the launch of a new feature in the Cape Breton Spectator, “Bean There,” a monthly column by Cape Breton farmer and seed-saver Michelle Smith.  It’s only right that I came to the end of the United Nation’s Year of Pulses with a visit to Agriculture Canada’sRead More

© User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 2

January 18, 2017 at 1:05 pm

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 seeds there anyway. You may have been grabbing seeds there until now, and you mayRead More

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters Week 1

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters Week 1

January 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Editor’s Note: This week marks the beginning of a new gardening feature by Michelle Smith, who will also write more broadly on agricultural and food issues for The Spectator in a regular monthly column that will launch next week. This week, we introduce Smith and present her first tip ofRead More