Grow Your Own Food is an information series on gardening in Canada that will get you started and will help you every step of the way to having the garden you dream of. This series was originally written for and published on Food Bloggers of Canada
There is nothing better to beat the winter chills then to leisurely flip through the pages of a seed catalogue and dream about summer! There is no better time then now to dive into a good gardening magazine or seed catalogue and start planning for the upcoming growing season. You will find inspiration and will discover new plants that you must have in your 2018 garden. They can be a great resource for bulbs, unique seeds and offer a far bigger selection then what you can find in the garden centre. Seed catalogues are also a great learning tool and 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% Canadian owned and operated. All of their seeds are non-GMO, untreated, and many selections are organic. They are 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 have 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, Canada. They have been providing rare and endangered heirloom varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers to gardeners and market growers since 1996. Be sure to check out their online catalogue. http://cottagegardener.com/
Garden Planning and Winter Chores
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, Consider other elements you may want to add that add height and visual interest to the space. This 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 though do not hang them from trees or shrubs as they will damage the bark and branches from movement from wind. In areas of heavy snow you may want to gently brush the snow off ever greens 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 4-8 weeks of cold storage) and tulips and daffodils (after 12 – 16 weeks of cold storage). And amaryllis placed in a sunny location will bloom again next season as long as it is watered and fertilized year round.
If you do begin to order seeds and bulbs be sure to store them some place dark and cool in anticipation of the upcoming garden season.