Initiatives – Soil Inoculation

Our last posting talked about not using synthetic fertilizer. Actually, we allow the plants to fertilize themselves through fungal soil inoculation. Making no sense? The fungi live symbiotically with the plant roots and access Nitrogen from the surrounding soil in exchange for some plant carbs. This process creates plants more resilient to climate change through the use of mycorrhizal communities underground.

You see – Nature always knows best!

Initiatives: No Fertilizer

There are several reasons we do not use fertilizer, at all, on the farm or for the nursery. Fertilizer causes fast growth which leads to incorporation of air into the woody structure. This leads to weaker woods which will not be able to withstand climate change freak weather events.

HERITAGE WHITE OAK AT 300 YEARS OLD
HERITAGE WHITE OAK AT 300 YEARS OLD

Beyond plastic pollution in our oceans there is international scientific evidence spotlighting the degradation of our oceans concerning lower concentration levels of oxygen. Climate change and increasing temperatures is one culprit.

The second culprit is fertilizer runoff. Don’t ever think that what we do in Ontario does not affect our oceans. Everything drains into the Great Lakes that leads to our oceans.

THINK GLOBAL!

Why not to stake your trees

Absolutely everything we do at the nursery is driven by climate change and based on recent science. As climate change induces more violent weather events we need to grow our trees to withstand this weather.

Wind action on trees is a natural phenomenon that helps build plant wood structure and roots. We do NOT stake trees in order to maximize wood and root structures.

Potted stock
Potted stock

THINK SPRING – our nursery is open and you can contact us anytime about your planting needs. You can always preorder your spring wish list to avoid disappointment.

Did You Know?

First and foremost, we are solely Ontario sourced seeds. Absolutely all our stock is grown from hand collected seeds derived from Ontario. Just because growing and gardening centers advertise native stocks does not mean that these stocks are Ontario sourced. In fact, many native stocks are imported from the States and resold here.

BUYER BEWARE – ALWAYS ASK IF YOUR PLANT PURCHASE IS ONTARIO SOURCED. BE ONTARIO PROUD.

Plastic Initiatives

Recycled Plant Pots
Recycled Plant Pots

Many of our customers ask us about the funky pots at our nursery. To some people they look unprofessional and helter skelter but to us they are our badge of honor. We ask clients to bring back all pots and containers so that they can be reused, again and again, until they fall apart. Only at this time do we take them away to be recycled. Just one way our nursery walks a little softer on the Earth and implements low impact practices.

Used Plant Pots Sitting on ground

The season is not over yet

People assume that work at a nursery stops once the trees go dormant. Far from it. As a matter of fact, I am still seed collecting for next year. We are now harvesting the conifers, such as the fir. We hand collect all our seeds that we use at the nursery. Proud to say that all stock is Ontario sourced.

Conifer Cones
Conifer Cones

CHRISTMAS IS COMING!

Check out our amazing artisan soaps. We have, also, launched a new line of specialty soaps. Great stocking stuffers.

IN THE ZONE

People are asking what the logo we are sporting on our website is about. The ‘In the Zone’ program is a joint venture between Carolinian Canada and World Wildlife Fund to connect citizens and gardeners to healthy landscapes, trails and gardens. The ‘In the Zone’ program wants to celebrate our native plants and wildlife. When you join this program you can receive free gardening resources.

As a native plant nursery participating in the program, we are assuring you that all plants sold by us are native and Ontario sourced. When you see these tags or stickers, then you can be confident that your purchases support and sustain our native Ontario landscape and wildlife.

Hoping to see you IN THE ZONE

Finally…We Have False Indigo

Last year, we had a bus tour coincide with the blooming of the false indigo. I love the way one of the passengers described the plant. ‘Pollinators just don’t love this plant, they attack it!’ And he was right. There were insects everywhere. Some were on the plant and others hover waiting for their opportunity.

I disappointed a lot of people that day by saying we had no false indigo. We had been trying different recommendations from different sources but nothing seemed to work. Got lucky on the 3rd attempt. Finally…we have false indigo.

Seriously, there are plants that pollinators love and then…there is the false indigo.

Let the seed picking begin

We absolutely love this time of year. A time to hike and get out into nature on a regular basis. A necessity, in our business, since we hand collect our seeds from Southern Ontario. People ask why we just don’t buy the seeds or seedlings.

To me, that would defeat our whole genetic program. The only way we know, for sure, where these seeds have come from is by picking them ourselves. It is not just about location but the way in which the seeds are chosen. We do not just pick from one tree or one shrub but from multiple shrubs or parent trees to diversify the genetics of what we are picking. Even though they are all from the same geographical location we pick as much as we can from varied parents at that site. In this way, we are diversifying that genetic base.

Is it more work? You bet. But I am convinced that we need to continue these seed picking efforts if we are to diversify our future forests and make them resilient towards climate change.

Have to go now. Seed picking awaits!