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Seed Season is Upon Us!

If you were returning your library books to Scadding Court library this Saturday, March 3, as I was, you would have been shocked to find it was, yes, Seedy Saturday. While seeds had indeed been on the mind (prompted, of course, by early sightings of spring blooms rising through the earth), it still seemed “early”. But, of course, its not. If you want to start seeds inside now is the time to start gathering (purchasing, or bartering, or swapping) seeds in preparation for planting inside, or for building up your seed collection for when the time comes to plant in the ground (after the last frost and likely May).

Of course I dived in to see what was what. The first purveyor of fine seeds I found was Colette from urban harvest (www.urbanharvest.ca) who reminded me that her seasonal  brick-and-mortar presence would this year be located at 1604 Queen West (at Sorauren), in the back and in the garden of the Coriander Girl flower shop. Browsing through the seeds in Urban Harvest’s and then other vendor’s, I felt ashamed to say that I hadn’t yet thought of what I should plant. I know that at the end of last season I felt that the strawberries should be transplanted to the south side of the plot to get more sun.  I knew what perennials existed and where (Rhubarb, north west corner of the plot). But what  should I grow this year?  Zucchini (flopped last year due to leaves being eaten by groundhogs, rabbits, but still great in the garden), Eggplant (the source of such great kitchen hits as eggplant parmigiani, veggie moussaka and babaganoush). There’s nothing like browsing for seeds to create the enthusiasm for getting back to the earth, but the truth is that many things have to be considered – as in say what you like to eat, and what kind of harvests you want to have – do you want to have zucchini that keeps on giving throughout the season, or is your desire to grow the Fort York’s biggest pumpkin? The next is your plot. At Fort York you have a certain size to play with. Within it you may want to tall plants (which cast shadows) and small plants (which don’t).  And you’ll want to think about where you will plant them. You may also want to consider compatibility – which plants grow best with other plants and also intercropping.

Seedy events run in March throughout the city and you can find dates and locations here: http://www.tcgn.ca/wiki/wiki.php?n=Events2012. Entry is by PWYC donation. As well as vendors booth there is also a seed exchange table so if you have collected seeds and want to swap, take them with you.

Two of the more “local” upcoming Seed Exchanges:

Saturday March 10, 2012 from 11 am – 4 pm.

Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue

Saturday March 24, 2012, 11am – 4pm

Masaryk-Cowan CRC, 220 Cowan Avenue.

If you attend, pick up the booklet “Get Growing Toronto”. It’s free and has info and tips aplenty.

Also remember that if you are planting seeds, there’s no need to go buying expensive planters. Provided there’s drainage and enough space and good enough potting soil you can upcycle many a container. Some info on planting in cans here: http://www.organicsoul.com/upcycling-using-cans-to-grow-your-own-seeds/ And a whole array here: http://planetsave.com/2011/11/01/5-ways-to-upcycle-items-into-garden-containers/ . More ideas, send them in!

Planting references from The Almanac visit: http://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-dates/ON/Toronto

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