Each month Redawna Kalynchuk draws on her extensive gardening experience to guide you through Growing Your Own Food in Canada: planning, planting, maintaining, harvesting and putting your garden to bed for winter. This month, Redawna provides a great guide to Canadian seed catalogues as well as some winter gardening chores.
There’s nothing better to beat the winter chills than leisurely flipping through the pages of a seed catalogue and dreaming about summer!
There’s no better time than now to dive into a good gardening magazine or seed catalogue and start planning for the upcoming growing season. You’ll find inspiration and will discover new plants that you must have in your 2018 garden. Seed catalogues can be a great resource for bulbs and unique seeds, and offer a far bigger selection than what you can find in the garden centre. They're also a great learning tool as you can research which plants can grow in your area.
Canadian Seed Catalogues and Companies
Below are some seed companies from across Canada.
Mount Royal Seeds
Mount Royal Seeds is an independent Canadian supplier of tree and shrub seeds as well as selective woodland plant and flower seeds. Check out what they offer on their online seed catalogue.
Natural Seed Bank
Natural Seed Bank is an online retailer of garden seeds. They sell various organic and untreated garden seeds. Located in Port Hope, Ontario, Natural Seed Bank is 100 percent Canadian owned and operated. All of their seeds are non-GMO and untreated, and many selections are organic. They're committed to never selling GMO products.
Richters is your go-to for everything herbal! Located in Goodwood, Ontario, Richters has been growing and selling herbs since 1969. Check out their online catalogue or request a copy to be mailed out.
Veseys is one of the premier seed, bulb and garden supply sites in North America. Located on Prince Edward Island, Veseys has 75 years of history providing products, services, and advice to gardeners. Be sure to head over and subscribe for your free catalogue. They put on many fantastic specials, have quality products and outstanding customer service.
West Coast Seeds
West Coast Seeds is located in Ladner, British Columbia. Their seed bank is impressive at over 800 different varieties.
The Cottage Gardener
The Cottage Gardener is an heirloom seedhouse and plant nursery in Newtonville, Ontario. They’ve been providing rare and endangered heirloom varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers to gardeners and market growers since 1996. They recently downsized their business and now only sell seeds through seed shows and events at their farm.
Garden Planning & Winter Chores
Winter is the season where you can see the bones of your yard and garden.
This is a good time to pull out your master plan and draw a map of the garden. Look at where you can add structural elements that will enhance your yard and garden, and consider other elements you may want to add for height and visual interest in the space.
Winter is the season where you can see the bones of your yard and garden. Consider adding trees and bushes that have winter berries and dark evergreens for colour and texture. Seed heads on ornamental grasses and perennials provide food for birds during the winter. Also consider adding bird feeders, but don’t hang them from trees or shrubs as they’ll damage the bark and branches due to movement from wind. In areas of heavy snow, you may want to gently brush the snow off evergreens and ornamental trees.
Now is also a good time to check on any stored bulbs and tubers. Discard any that show signs of rot. Bare root geraniums can soon be planted along with potted spring bulbs such as hyacinths (after 4 to 8 weeks of cold storage) and tulips and daffodils (after 12 to 16 weeks of cold storage). An amaryllis placed in a sunny location will bloom again next season as long as it’s watered and fertilized year round.
If you do begin to order seeds and bulbs be sure to store them someplace dark and cool in anticipation of the upcoming garden season.
LOOKING FORWARD …
In the coming year we'll be covering off tips and tricks for growing specific crops and tackling individual garden tasks!
- Grow Your Own Food: Reflecting on the Growing Season
- Grow Your Own Food: Putting the Garden to Bed for Winter
- Grow Your Own Food: StartingSeeds Indoors
Grow Your Own Food is written by Redawna Kalynchuk. Redawna is the writer, photographer and content creator at Nutmeg Disrupted. She has over 20 years of gardening experience and has gardened from indoors under high-powered lights to frosty zone 2b gardens in northern Alberta. She enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional gardening and loves empowering others to grow their own food. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.