RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN:
This website and article are for supporting children getting out in nature and growing food – https://comealiveoutside.com/. It comes highly recommended
Another website for raising physically literate kids is https://activeforlife.com/
If you want to get your kids interested in veggie beds, the best way is to involve them in the process as much as possible. Examples of this are:
- Have them paint the outside wood of the veggie bed planter
- Let them put the seeds in the ground after you have made your rows
- Show them how to water the seedlings gently
- Have them keep a little journal of the veggies’ progress each day
- Create labels for what is edible and what is inedible with them
- Make sure they have their own safe garden tools to use
This article also has some soil experiment ideas to do with children: https://gardenerspath.com/how-to/beginners/gardening-children/
Many of my clients want to grow more veggies this season. I have been recommending some easy ways to have raised beds, and I share them here with you.
1. Concrete blocks made locally by Belgard/Expocrete have slots to fit in 2” x 6” boards. You can easily create raised beds in different configurations, as shown in the images below.
Here is more information and instructions for using these blocks:
You can get these concrete blocks from local suppliers, such as Home Depot, Lowe’s and Rona. You can get the wood from these suppliers as well. Although Belgard/Expocrete suggests using pressure-treated wood, I recommend cedar. While the newly treated wood is supposed to be safe for growing food, I am cautious and use cedar.
Here are the links to find these blocks. All these suppliers deliver. Please keep yourself and store staff safe (one of them is my relative) by ordering for delivery:
- Home Depot: https://www.homedepot.ca/product/oldcastle-planter-block-tan/1001040692
- Lowe’s: https://www.lowes.ca/product/retaining-wall-block/oldcastle-tan-series-name-retaining-wall-block-common-8-in-x-8-in-actual-75-in-x-775-in-834794
- Rona: https://www.rona.ca/en/garden-wall-block-5-1-2-x-7-1-2-tan-66635187
2. Garden Retreat Centre in Calgary has ‘Maxikaps’ which are self-watering planter systems. Find out more here: https://www.buyagreenhouse.com/product-information/maxikap-self-watering-planters
Garden Retreat Centre also has mini cold frames and mini greenhouses to help you start your growing season early and to extend it. With the cold frame my crew custom made for me, my family can grow greens until it is -20 C. It is great to enjoy fresh swiss chard in late November!
3. Equinox Desert Planters are decorative concrete planters available at Eagle Lake Landscape Supply in Calgary. They are self-watering.
Find them here: https://eaglelakelandscape.com/equinox-desert-planters/
You can order garden mix soil to be delivered from Western Canada Garden Soil (WCGS) right to your yard. They can help you figure out how much you will need (on their web-site calculator or call them for help). What is great about WCGS is they do not use the large plastic bags that other companies do, they unload the soil onto the street for you. Those large plastic bags cannot be re-used and will end up in the landfill. So best to avoid them if you can.
For more information or to order go to http://www.westerncanadagardensoil.ca/our-products.php or call 403-251-9639.
Note that if you have a truck, you should be able to drive into a local supplier and be loaded up. Eco-yards uses Top Spray Express in Cochrane, as their Nutri-loam is high quality.
SEEDS AND STARTER PLANTS
To obtain your seeds and starter plants for this season, check out your local garden centres. At this time, these garden centres are encouraging people to shop online from home. Check out their websites or phone them, as some are just delivering and others accept orders for curbside pick up options.
Here are some Garden Centres Eco-yards uses:
Plantation Garden Centre (NW):
- Call or email in orders for delivery or curbside pick up
- Address – 2408 4 St NW
- Phone number – (403) 277-4769
- Website link – https://plantationgardencentre.ca/
Golden Acres Garden Centre (NE):
- Call or email in orders for delivery or curbside pick up. *First hour of operation is reserved for seniors those with disabilities 9 am during the week, 10 am on the weekend.
- Address – 620 Goddard Ave NE
- Phone number – (403) 274-4286
- Website link –https://www.goldenacre.ca/
Garden Retreat Centre (SW):
- Call or email in orders for delivery or curbside pick up, limited access to 2 customers in-store at a time.
- Address – 6510 1a St SW, Calgary
- Phone number – (403) 255-7097
- Website link – https://www.buyagreenhouse.com/
Greengate Garden Centre (S):
- Call or email in orders for delivery or pick up only, no personal shopping inside the centre.
- Address – 14111 Macleod Trail
- Phone number – (403) 256-1212
- Website link – https://www.greengate.ca/
Organic grocery stores like Community Natural Foods and Amaranth also have seeds.
To order great seeds by mail I recommend:
- Brother Nature Seeds – BC www.brothernature.ca
- Richters – Ontario www.richters.com
- Norseed – Alberta www.harmonicherbs.com
- Blue Mountain – Alberta www.bluemountainbiodynamicfarms.com
- Prairie Garden Seeds – Saskatchewan https://prseeds.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020-Prairie-Garden-Seeds-Order-Form-Fillable.pdf
GET IN TOUCH
If you want help putting these beds together, OR if you want custom made veggie beds or a cold frame, give me (Laureen) a call at 403-969-1176 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We can also build you a self-watering bed with a water reservoir that fills from your downspout:
SAFETY MEASURES ECO-YARDS IS TAKING THIS SEASON
Eco-yards is taking extra safety measures this season. Read about this on our website: https://www.eco-yards.com/safety-measures-2020/.
The health and safety of my staff, clients and the community are important to me. We are following Government health guidelines and Landscape Industry guidelines in order to take extra care and ensure the health and safety of all.
Let’s get growing this season!