Roquette, Brassicas, Kraut and Vingears

Organic Flowers

The most important thing to remember at this time of year is to make space for each plant in your garden. Any leafy greens or brassicas that have gone to seed (really tall and making flowers and seed pods) need to come out of the garden. Remove any large leaves that are overshadowing other plants. Any radish needs to come out of the garden. Most lettuces have gone to seed and need to come out as well.

If you have brocoli in your garden it is likely going to flower. Harvest now! Cabbages are also ready to harvest at this time. Harvest before they start to split. Splitting usually happens after a big rain fall. Harvest heads as soon as possible. Make a delicious kraut to enjoy this summer and fall with all your barbecued veggies and meats. All you need is salt and cabbage! Check out our fermentation workshop this fall.

If you  have peas in your garden, harvest time is here. Harvest your peas early and often! The more you pick, the more you will get. Enjoy them while the harvest lasts. Remember peas shoots also make a delicious addition to a salad. Continue helping your tomatoes onto the trellis as they grow, gently twining them onto your trellis netting. It is important to remove any suckersthat you cannot find space for on the trellis.

The roquette (arugula and sylveltta) is flowering white and yellow flowers. Make sure to cut back flowers to keep your plants producing. Cut back the flowering stocks at the base and do not forget to enjoy the flowers in your next salad!

If you have not harvested your garlic scapes do so now! It is important to remove them all from the garlic plant so that the plant's energy goes into producing bulbs instead of flowers. The scape is the curled end above the top leaves. Simply snip off. You can chop it up to add to any dish, throw them on the bbq or blend all of them together to add to a pesto. They are a delicious delicacy - so be sure to enjoy!

The herbs are growing nice and big now. Use them to prepare aromatic and savoury vinegars. Harvest on a dry day, chop herbs and cover with apple cider vinegar, white or red wine vinegar. Let it infuse for 6 weeks, stain and pour it into a nice bottle. Great for marinades, salad dressings and they make a wonderful gift! This glowing nasturtium vinegar has a bit of a kick but delicious for those who like it spicy!

Nasturtium Vinigar

Organic Herbs


Tomato tangles, herbs and leafy greens 

Leafy Greens

Lots of herbs are ready for harvest. Cut back flowers to keep them on producing. Eat your herbs fresh or pick them on dry day (if we ever get one!) for drying to keep in your pantry. Harvest the tops of your basil to keep your basil plants bushy. Remove an entire section of leaves at a time. You will see two sets of smaller leaves on the stem - those will become entire branches post harvest. This will make your entire plant much bushier. To see how, check out my video.

Save your peppers and eggplants from the tomato tangles to come.  As they grow get your tomato plants  up on the trellis to free up space in your vegetable garden. To get the tomatoes on to the trellis, you gently wrap the growing end of the vine around the trellis netting. Any branches that do not fit on the trellis need to be cut off so they don't crowd the other plants in your garden. Make sure to also remove suckers to focus the energy of the plant. Suckers are the small branches that grows in the crotch of the other tomato branches.  Watch my video to identify suckers.

Most lettuces will have started to bolt. Bolting means that they start to produce a long spike that is a bit alien looking. The lettuce then turns bitter and is less tasty. Harvest them and clear up that space for your peppers and eggplants. Continue to harvest kale and Swiss chard by cutting outer leaves and leaving inner leaves. Bok choy can be harvest as a whole head. For tatsoi you can remove the outer leaves and leave inner ones or harvest the whole head for a stir fry. Add those greens to your salads, stir frys, eat them as a side dish or add them to soups.

Stay on the look out for leaf miner and flea beetles in the garden. Reduce risk of pest and disease by keeping your garden clean remove and dead or yellowing leaves. And of course your presence is the best method of prevention so get out and brave the rain and enjoy your garden! 

Happy harvesting and  weeding! 😉
-Urban Seedling

Organic GardenOrganic Garden


The salad days

Salad Harvest

If you haven't planted your garden yet, we have an end of season seedling sale 2$ per plant at our Garden Centre. We will be closed for St. Jean, but open on Sunday the 25th.

For the early-May planters, you should be doing tons of harvesting every day! With all the hot weather and rain, even early-June gardens are producing lots and lots of leafy greens. Harvest leafy greens by cutting off larger outer leaves to leave the inner leaves to grow for a continual harvest. Keep leafy greens well harvested away from peppers and eggplants if your plants are sharing squares at this time of yearIf your peppers and eggplants do not have lots of clear space around them, they will not grow. 

The same thing goes for tomatoes and cucumbers. All plants need access to lots of sun. It is important to clear space in front of the plants that are along the trellis. Keep your garden well weeded and keep on harvesting everyday! Tomatoes have been planted in front of peas to share trellis space. Usually we would take the pea vines out before putting the tomato plants on the trellis, but because of our cold, wet spring the peas are not as far along as they need to be for this to work.

This year we will leave in the pea vines to share the trellis space with the tomato plants. You can also remove the pea vines and eat the leaves as pea shoots (delicious!) to make more room for the tomatoes on the trellis. Start gently wrapping the growing tip of the tomatoes around the trellis each week. It's important to start removing the suckers off of your tomato plants so that they don't take too much energy away from producing your tomatoes, and to keep control over your garden.

Garlic scapes are ready to harvest. It is important to remove them all from each garlic plant so that the plant's energy goes into producing bulbs instead of flowers. The scape is the curled end above the top leaves, see photo below. Remove and enjoy - they are delicious!

If you have broccoli, make sure to harvest the head before it opens into hundreds of little yellow flowers! The florets (small broccoli heads on the side of the main stalk) will be ready in 2 or 3 weeks. Bokchoy, mizuna, arugula and tatsoi are starting to flower in some sunnier gardens as well. Harvest the entire plant to eat while it is still tasty. The flowers are delicious too!

Did you remember to thin your beets and carrots? Make sure each one of these little seedlings has an inch or two between plants to form a nice root. Young shoots are a delicious addition to your daily garden salad.

It is important to keep on top of Slugs and leaf miner populations early in the season as well. The leaf miner can wipe out your chard or beet crops if left unchecked. Remove affected leaves and destroy. Check backs of healthy leaves for eggs and scrape off with your nail. It is important to get slugs out of the garden right away. They grow quickly and multiply! Use beer traps and hand picking to get out ahead of the population explosion. Watering in the morning instead of at night can helps to reduce slug populations.

It is important to water your garden deeply every day that it is not raining. Ideally it would be a morning watering so that the water has a chance to penetrate deeply instead of evaporating, and to avoid damaging the plants under a hot noon-day sun. Small, yellowing plants are almost always due to not enough water to support the rapid growth on the hot, sunny days.

You have the opportunity to get on top of your weeding while the weeds are still small. Weed early and often to avoid competition for your vegetables, and a lot of extra work. Small weeds are way easier to pull than huge ones. Weeding early and often makes maintaining your garden a lot easier, and it also helps to keep pests such as slugs and snails out of the garden.

We've seen some flea beetle damage (round small holes) in the bokchoy, mustard greens and other leafy greens. Applications of Diatomaceous Earth or Black Soap and installing Yellow Sticky Traps are effective ways of controlling these pests. The damage is cosmetic -- the affected plants are still edible and delicious!


Harvesting your garden

Garden harvesting

To beat the cool, overcast spring we've left 3 out of 4 leafy-greens per square foot, and replaced the 4th with a pepper or an eggplant. You will have to clear out the rest of the square to give your summer plants room to grow, but for now they can share to give you a little more spring harvest. Radishes are ready to pick around 25 days after you plant them. Harvest them now to enjoy them while they are at their best and to make room for your other veggies (cucumbers) to grow.

Important maintenance tasks right now: Water on days where it is not raining, water deeply ideally in the morning. Weed early and often to keep small weeds from getting big and taking over your vegetable garden. Also remove any diseased or damaged leaves from any of your plants to keep your garden clean producing well.

Harvest your leafy greens by removing the outer leaves. The small inner leaves will continue to grow for a continual harvest. Be sure to remove the entire leaf right down to the bottom. Step outside with your salad bowl and a leaf from all your greens: roquette, lettuce, bok choy, tatsoi, kale, swiss chard and rapini for your daily garden salad. Some of these greens are starting to go to seed. You can pick the flowers and eat them as well! Pinching out the flowers will help keep the greens tasting better longer.

Slugs are starting to come out. At this time of year they are still small. It is important to get them out of the garden right away. They grow quickly and multiply! Use beer traps and hand picking to get out ahead of the population explosion. Watering in the morning instead of at night can greatly reduce slug populations as it makes it harder for them to get around at dusk on the dry soil surface.

The leaf miners are back. They cause the burn-like damage on Swiss chard and beet greens. You can save your plants by removing any damaged leaves right away, and inspecting the underside of healthy leaves and remove any eggs.


The transition from Spring to Summer

Spring to Summer

Since this spring has been particularly cold and overcast, germination and growth of seed-planted crops like peas, carrots, beets and radish has been slow. We have some strategies to leave the time for your spring plants to grow longer, and also get the summer seedlings in right away. We will be in touch three days before to let Garden Replant clients know when we are coming. Sadly, we've had a crop failure on our Rosemary. We will be replacing any Rosemary in your garden plans with extra basil.

  • Remove one lettuce, spinach or bok choy per square to make space for the Pepper or Eggplant as per your garden plan.
  • If you don't care too much about radish, remove them and sauté leaves-and-all for a stir fry. If you love radishes, clear out a few to make space for the cucumbers and leave the rest to grow.
  • If you don't care too much about the peas, harvest the young shoots for your salads to make room for the tomatoes. If you love peas, let them grow up the trellis. We will be leaving them in all season this year, so they will be sharing trellis space with the tomatoes.

Fortunately all the rain has been great for the leafy greens. Please start harvesting the outer leaves. Simply step outside with your salad bowl and pick a couple of leaves from each plant for a continual harvest. Make sure to weed early and often to keep your garden clean and clear.

It's time to order your Trichogramma (parasitic wasps) to control Cabbage Moths and Nematodes to control Japanese Beetle and White Grub. Please respond to this email to order. We've started to see some of the white cabbage moths flying around some gardens.

When we plant our tomato plants, we take advantage of a super tomato trick. Tomatoes can grow roots all along the stem. We remove the bottom couple of leaves (so they don't rot underground) and plant the tomato super deep so that only 5 or 6 inches are sticking out the top. This will give the tomato plant a much bigger root structure and make for a more vigorous and productive plant.

Make sure to thin your carrots and beets. This means enough space around each plant for it to grow well. Carrots need 2 inches (5cm), beets need 3 inches (7cm). Choose the best seedling and remove the rest. It is possible to transplant if they are still small. Just make sure to do it quickly and carefully.


The Spring Garden

Spring Garden

The spring garden are starting to grow! You can remove your row cover now that the days are warmer. Keep it close by though - you should put it back on the garden if temperatures dip below 4 degrees at night.There are some key maintenance task and harvesting techniques that will help keep your garden healthy and happy.

If you radishes are not up yet, they should be coming up soon. Thin radishes to 16 in square foot with 2 inches between each radish seedling. Radishes should not be clumped together in like in the photo below. Watch my video on thinning and transplanting radishes here to help with you with this process.  Radishes are ready to harvest around 25 days after planting. To check if they are ready, investigate the size of the root with your finger.

Beet and carrots take longer to germinate but they will be coming up soon. Make sure to thin your carrots and beets. This means enough space around each plant for it to grow well. Carrots need 2 inches (5cm), beets need 3 inches (7cm). Choose the best seedling and remove the rest. It is possible to transplant if they are still small. Just make sure to do it quickly and carefully. For more details check out my video here.

Soon you can look forward to harvesting your leafy greens.  Once your leafy greens are big enough to your taste, you should start harvesting the outer leaves. Simply step outside with your salad bowl and pick a couple of leaves from each plant for a continual harvest.

Now that the sun is finally out and the days are warming up, it is really important to water, water, water. The most common reason vegetable gardens in a sunny location underperform is a lack of water. When you water make sure to water deeply - at least 20 min for a 10'x3' garden. If regular watering is an issue I suggest getting a simple irrigation system set up. It can be as easy as a weeping-hose or sprinkler on a timer. Set the timer for a good hour from 4:00 - 5:00am so that you don't loose water to evaporation in the hot sun.


Join us for the Urban Herbalism workshop!

Workshop Flowers and Herbs

Our new location by the waterfront, has all kinds of wonderful nutritious, delicious and medicinal weeds growing. To explore these herbs, we are offering our very first Urban Herbalism workshop! June 3rd, 1 - 3 pm. 7000 boul. LaSalle, Verdun H4H 2T1. Click the link to get tickets. 20$ per person.

Joins us and discover the basic methods of preparing and preserving medicinal plants: tinctures, vinegars, infusions, honeys and oils.

Learn about plants that grow near you and how you can integrate them in your daily life. As part of the workshop, we will take a walk rain or shine in the area to identify some urban medicinal plants. Bring a camera and note pad to keep notes and pictures of the plants we find.

Click here to sign up. See you on the waterfront!

-Urban Seedling team


It’s time for our big launch!

Urban Seedling Opening

The big day has arrived. Come visit our brand new garden centre completely dedicated to organic vegetable gardening in our new location right on the waterfront. Come on down to 7000 boulevard LaSalle in Verdun on the Grand Potager site  for kids gardening activities, a bike repair clinic, free gardening workshops for grownups, farmer's market and Urban Agriculture Expo! Click here for more info!

Purchase some as beautiful as they are delicious perennials for your yard. Our urban setting is great for growing fruit and these perennials are a great low maintenance addition to your yard. Get one step closer to creating a urban homesteader in the heart of the city!

The bluecrop blueberry is enjoyed for its large berries and resistance to pest and disease. Among our varieties it is unbeatable for it consistent yields and beautiful flowers.  Blueberries are best planted in twos, combine  this blueberry with the cold hardy, easy growing, great for cooking Northland blueberry!

Strawberries make a great tasty ground cover. Our varieties are ever-bearing with great yields and excellent flavour.

Create a beautiful foodscape with a blueberry and strawberry patch  in your urban oasis!

Do not forget to purchase some of some of our tasty asparagus. Easy to grow and plant, it will yield tasty spears for 20 years to come. A fantastic low maintenance perennial with natural beauty!

Lots of more amazing organic vegetable gardening products to discover from seedlings to soil and organic fertilizers!

See you there!
- Urban Seedling Team


Cold, wet weather in your garden

Cold weather seedling

We have had an unseasonably cold and very wet spring so far! While our gardens need water, they also need sun! The cold wet weather means that your seeds will take longer to germinate, and your seedlings will grow more slowly.

Fortunately all of the varieties of plants that we plant at this time of year are cold hardy and don't mind this weather too much. To help your garden out, there are a couple of things that you can do.

  • Keep your floating row cover on the garden if you have one
  • Put an old sheet on your garden on cool nights if you don't - take it off in the day to let the sun in!
  • Put a piece of clear plastic or an old window over seeded areas to add a bit more heat to the area

This *should* be the last crappy week. Lets look ahead to next Saturday - 17 degrees and sunny - for our official Launch Party! There will be activities all day long including a family picnic 11:00 - 1:00 pm city compost give-away for Verdun residents, free workshops from 1:00 - 5:00 pm, a farmers market and Cultiver Montreal Urban Agriculture Expo!


Later start to the season.

Greenhouse and seedlings

Earth day is this Saturday. Come and celebrate with us at the Verdun Greenhouses! There will be a family market, bike repair station, kids activities, and a tree give away for Verdun residents. We will be there as well with our Garden Centre kiosk of soil, seeds, fertilizers and planters.

For those of you who have planted garlic and protected your garden, you should remove the plastic just on the side of the garden where the garlic is, and leave it covering the rest of the garden until planting time.

We've decided to push planting later to account for persistant cold, wet weather. We will be starting at the end of next week. If you have started your cool weather seedlings at home - leafy greens (kale, chard, mizuna, lettuce, spinach) you should harden them off by bringing them outside during the day, and bring them inside at night, and plant them outside as of Thursday 27th or Friday 28th.

Before planting, make sure that your vegetable garden and garden area are cleaned up and clear of dead leaves or plants. Mix in some lime to regulate the pH as rich soil with lots of peatmoss tends to acidify overtime. Add fresh soil and compost and some natural, organic fertilizers.

Early in the season is a great time to prune your fruit trees and berry shrubs. Remove any crossed or broken branches, and take a look if you want to cut out any of the tallest branches to keep your trees at a manageable height.

The early spring is a great time to plant fruit in the early spring is as well. You just need to wait until the ground is fully thawed and not so soggy. We will be receiving our fruit around the first week of May.


Beneficial insects for your garden

Sunflower

First, let me get some important info to you:
We are having some technical difficulties with our phone line (argh!) While we get it worked out please use 514-243-1411 to get in touch with us. Or email, or Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram 🙂

Vegetable and fruit growing workshop tomorrow! Sign up here, or come to 7000 boul. LaSalle for 1pm to pay at the door.

We will be starting to plant our vegetable gardens April 24th (weather permitting, of course) We are already filling up the early planting schedule, let us know if you would like us to come and build a vegetable garden at your home, school or work, or if you would like to book a replant package.

And now for Beneficial insects:
To create a complete, and healthy ecosystem in your yard and have a spectacular garden you need to be able attract, feed and house beneficial insects in your yard. To do this, we always plant a herb and edible flower garden right beside the vegetable garden. The flowers and flowering herbs attract pollinators, and predatory insects that will do all kinds of great maintenance work in your garden. If you don't have a lot of insect activity, or have specific problems to take care of, we have some great predatory insects for sale.

It is now time to order your Nematodes to protect your garden against Japanese Beetle in your yard. For the best results you need to apply the Nematodes in the early spring and again in the early fall. It is important to apply the Nematodes on a cool, humid day and to water your lawn or garden deeply for at least five days so that those little wigglers can follow the water down to where the white Japanese Beetle grubs are hiding.


How to get started on your vegetable garden

get started gardening

Come to the Seedy Saturday in the West Island. Shop for local heirloom seeds, attend free workshops and  purchase materials to get your gardening season started. Planning ahead  is one key to a successful vegetable garden.

Attend our Urban Seedling Workshop on Growing food at home on April 8th from 1-3pm in english and 4-6pm in French Learn how to incorporate fruit trees, berry patches, herbs and edible flowers, and vegetable gardens into your very own edible paradise.

Come visit us this weekend 24-25-26 of March at Expo Manger et Vivre Vert! Buy your seeds for the season, learn about our vegetable gardening services and get your fertilizers for the season.

Soon we will be moved in to our new location and ready to receive at the end of April new and experienced gardens alike and meet all your vegetable gardening needs! Purchase leafy greens, soil, organic fertilizers and materials for your vegetable garden. Book it in your calendar so as to not forget.

See you in the garden,
Urban Seedling Team