Bumblebees and Seeds

I never realized how much I did not know about bumblebees. And, this week I started going through the that I collected and chose several that I want to test. I really wanted to test the seeds that I collected to see if the was viable.

Greetings fellow gardeners,  

Photo (by: Danny Kingsbury)

On Saturday, January 8, I had the opportunity to attend (virtually) the Toronto Master Gardeners’ technical update.

Bumblebee Recommended Reading

The first speaker was Dr. Sheila Colla who is the co-author of Bumblebees of North America. Her topic was ‘The Role of Grassroots Movements in Conservation’. I never realized how much I did not know about bees and bumblebees! A few years ago, I had joined the Bumblebee Watch and this Saturday I went in search of my membership. This year I am going to make a point of photographing the bumblebees that visit my garden and send the photos to Bumblebee Watch. It is a fascinating project, why not check it out?(https://www.bumblebeewatch.org/).

The second speaker was Cole Burrell, author of Perennial Combinations, whose topic was ‘A Gardener’s Primer to Understanding Nature’s Cycles and Flows’. He lives in Virginia, USA with a landscaping and travel tour business. His take on ecology mirrors my own and I thoroughly enjoyed his in-depth explanations of how a garden works.

The third speaker was Rebecca McMackin whose topic was Brooklyn Bridge Park: Lessons in Built Ecology. They took 85 acres of shoreline and in 2000 and now it is an amazing and thriving park that is open to the public. It was a very productive meeting.

Thoughts on Seeds

This week I started going through the seeds that I collected and chose several that I want to test. I really wanted to test the pepper seeds that I collected to see if the seed was viable. To do this I went about trying to track down my potting soil. Note to self: if you store your soil outside, it will freeze as solid as a brick. So, in comes the soil to thaw out.

I found several containers, filled them with the soil and left them on the kitchen counter to warm. You do not want to plant your seeds into cold earth. The too-many cats were very interested in the pots of earth, so I had to move quickly to get them into my plant compound. I am putting a few seeds in each container to see what happens. 

Pimento pepper seeds held in the palm of a hand
pepper seeds

Seed Suppliers

I am also trying to collect some more interesting seed companies to share with you. The first one is Northern Wildflowers https://northernwildflowers.ca/ . This is a catalogue of native wildflowers from Northern Ontario. A fellow Master Gardener recommended it to me, and I think it is truly worth a look.

The second interesting site I would like to share is https://goodfoodgarden.ca/. There are seeds, bedding plants, workshops and more. As they are based in Vankleek Hill, I think a field trip is in order. I am always looking for new and interesting seed outlets although the latest seed catalogue that I received from OSC is beautiful. I am really enjoying it.

The weekend would be a good time to clear off the second shelf of my seed compound, move out the old pots and redo the netting. Of course, I will need to keep feeding the woodstove. The too-many cats like to stay warm. Enjoy your week.  Judith. 

(: sghorticultural@gmail.com)

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