Let the gardening year begin – now!

Spring is just around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve been counting the days since the middle of January – or even earlier. As each day gets longer, the urge to garden gets stronger.

Gardeners with itchy green thumbs will need to exercise some patience though. That doomsayer, the Farmers’ Almanac, is predicting another cold and wet spring.  

But don’t let that forecast get you down. From what I’ve learned, Leaside gardeners can look forward to an amazing gardening year ahead, and one that’s full of adventure and inspiration and is deeply connected to the environment.

It’s all happening in the ’hood

The Leaside Garden Society has already set the tone for a gardening year that sings like a choir in perfect harmony.

They have an exciting lineup of speakers scheduled to take place on the second Thursday of most months. This month, on March 9, guest speaker Sean James will present “Proud of my Pruning” via Zoom. And there is hope that in-person meetings will resume very soon.

The LGS will be awarding another $1,000 scholarship to a student engaged in a post-secondary course of study in a subject related to horticulture or the environment. And following on the success of last year’s event, they are planning another tour of neighbourhood gardens on June 24th.

There’s still more. This year the LGS will partner with the City to refurbish the current mud patches at the entrance to the Leaside Library and create a new pollinator garden filled with predominantly native plants!

If you’re still not a member of this great garden club or you’re new to the neighbourhood, this is a perfect time to join.

All of this and more can be found on their recently refreshed website leasidegardensociety.org.     

Still feeling a little down about that forecast? Don’t. There’s so much we can do right now to get a head start on the growing season, regardless of the weather.

Start seeds indoors

Now is the ideal time to get your hands on some quality seeds, and this year Seedy Saturdays are back in full force.

This is where you can trade/swap or purchase local heritage and heirloom seeds of vegetables, herbs, flowers and native species. If you have never been to a Seedy Saturday before, I strongly suggest you check one out.

You will find a Seedy Saturday at the Evergreen Brickworks on Sat., March 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at The Toronto Botanical Gardens on Sat., March 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

I heard it through the grapevine

Over the years, I’ve been paying a lot more attention to the health of my garden soil. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I learned about Crooked Farmz.

This is an East-York-based ‘microfarm’ that produces high quality composts and vermicomposts for use in brewing fresh actively-aerobic compost teas and extracts.

Currently their regenerative teas and extracts are sold across the city by CSA subscription and at farmers’ markets for home gardening and urban agriculture use. But I’ve also learned they will soon be delivering to Leaside.

This month, Crooked Farmz will be offering a two-hour intensive workshop designed to provide a deeper understanding of soil composition and chemistry.

On March 19 from 10 a.m. to noon you can attend the Soil Health and Microbial workshop (via Zoom) for just $20.

Find out more about Crooked Farmz and how to register for this workshop at crookedfarmz.net

As you can see, there’s lots to do without digging in right now.

Let the gardening year begin!

About Debora Kuchme 67 Articles
After a 30-year career as a fashion designer, Debora worked at Horticultural Design for over a decade. Now with her concerns about climate change, she hopes to help local gardeners find positive solutions for a greener and healthier neighbourhood. As a board member of the Bayview Leaside BIA, she created the Bayview Pixies, a volunteer group introducing sustainable gardening practice to Bayview.