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Gift Certificates
Give a gift certificate for our Garden Centre in Campbell River. Gift Certificates can be posted to your loved one, or held in their name at the...
Just in Fruit Trees - Nov 22/17
  Just in ~ Fruit Trees! Late fall is the best time to plant new fruit trees. Remember when you are planting bare-root trees that they need to...
Pumpkin Contest ~ Sat, Oct 14th/17 11am...
Campbell River Garden Centre23rd Annual Great Pumpkin Contest October 14th, 2017 1st place Adult Joe Hanrahan 521 lbs2nd Place...

Incredible Edibles

Desert King Fig (Ficus carica)

We stock many varieties of figs, as customers like to experiment and try different things, but the variety Desert King Fig is well known for being the most popular in our area as it is the most reliable. Desert King Figs are green skinned with beautiful rosy-pink flesh and excellent flavour. Desert King is a twice cropping fig, but in this case, it is only the first crop that will most likely develop well in Campbell River. The first crop (the Breba crop) will grow from the branches that grew last summer and ripen in August.

Figs are native to the Mediterranean, southern Asia and Africa so when you are choosing a location for your fig tree, find a very sunny spot; probably the south or west side of your yard with good drainage. Fig trees grow to about fifteen feet tall or more in our area but can be pruned to keep the fruit producing at a lower height. Figs like a pH of 6.0-6.5 so a little bit of lime is beneficial in Campbell River. Figs are an attractive tree with beautifully shaped leaves and are deer resistant. 

Can you image how decadent it would be to be harvesting figs from your garden? 

Popular Fig Varieties:- 

Brown Turkey Fig - Medium to large, brownish-purple skin with pink flesh. 

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Blueberry 'Sweetheart'

March 29, 2017

Brand new and now in stock, Blueberry 'Sweetheart', is a very exciting new blueberry variety as it is the first and only blueberry that produces two crops of blueberries; one in June and another crop in August. Now that's pretty incredible!

 

Sweetheart Blueberries grow four to six feet tall and about three feet wide. The berries are medium-sized, with great flavour. If you are already growing blueberries, Sweetheart produces before your first berries and after your last and extending the harvest time of fresh berries in your gardens is actually, "really terrific".  This blueberry is also claiming to be self-fertile - oh my, it is almost too good to be true!

 

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Growing Great Garlic!

Growing garlic is very satisfying. Simply to be able to harvest your garlic for cooking is such a great feeling. I've always thought it would make a great appetizer for a dinner party to oven roast a bunch of different varieties and taste test them with a baguette and a glass of wine. Then you could languish over the subtleties of flavours of Mexican Purple, Rocambole or Metechi. You may just find that you don't need to pick one favourite; that having a variety is much more fun. Garlic is very easy to grow so if you haven't tried growing garlic before make this the year you do.

Fall is the very best time to plant garlic.  I say "very" best because you can still plant in the spring if you missed out on fall planting, but planting in autumn will give your garlic the optimal season for growing.

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Growing Great Raspberries

In the Spring of 2012, Nigel and I put in a raspberry patch. We built three raised beds about 3 feet wide by 8 feet long. It was funny at the time because we had worked all day on our little project and round about 4 in the afternoon I went to get us a little refreshment.  When I came back across the lawn I looked out to the 3 beds and suddenly realised that they looked, more than a little, like 3 graves. It was also Easter Weekend.

We had a good laugh over this and chuckled that perhaps we should have taken a step back somewhere in the building process to look at the complete picture. Never mind they look great now and the raised beds are working really well.

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Starting Veggie Seeds

For everything you want to know, take a seed and watch it grow. My little sister, Alana, gave me a card one birthday with this quote on it and it took root in my mind and my heart and I've never forgotten it. It is very true. You can plant a seed and watch it develop into a plant that will bear you produce, which you can harvest and then prepare for your dinner all in a matter of months. Along the way you will also learn everything that the seed needs from you to grow; how much light, what temperature, how deep to plant it, do you start it indoors or outdoors, how much water and when you should feed it. These are all things that need to be considered but if you have never tried before, or have failed in the past, don't be alarmed - these are all things we can learn to do, you may not always be successful the first time but start small and grow a little more each year and you will learn 'everything you want to know'.
 
Timing is very important. You can do everything right with your seeds but if your timing is wrong your seeds will probably die (sorry for the big heavy). Obey the timing guidelines for each plant and you are sure to have far greater success. It's important to recognize that there are three main planting times for veggies.
 

1. March and/or April - Cool Season Crops

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Grow Your Own Veggies For Fall And Winter Harvest!

How are you enjoying your summer harvest?  Our peas were fantastic and though our tomatoes seem a little bit late they are coming on great now and in abundance! We processed our second batch of Oven Roasted Tomatoes yesterday.  The first batch only made it to the dinner table (served over pasta) but the second batch made it to the freezer.  

As far as potatoes go the Satina variety is always our favourite, but we need to get out and dig some of the others we grew to compare.  We've planted Satina, Norland, Red Pontiac, Sieglinde and Banana potatoes.  

Even if you don't have much room for veggies just having a great selection of herbs to add to salads, new potatoes and meats is so wonderful.  All these home grown plants are so good for us, body and soul, we don't want it to end and if we plan it right it doesn't have to. 

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Oven Roasted Tomato Recipe

My co-worker, Janis, got me going on this oven roasted tomato recipe and I just love making this for dinner to serve over pasta or as a side dish. 

Note:- When I make it as a side dish I like to use cherry or grape tomatoes and I leave them whole.

7-8 large tomatoes cut in half along the equator (lengthwise for roma types) or as many fit in your pan. Green belly-buttons removed ¼ cup olive oil 3-4 cloves garlic Salt and pepper Optional:- you can also add cut up onions and peppers, sweet or spicy, for a twist.

 

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Grow Your Own Super Foods!

You don't have to look far to find someone talking about how healthy fresh fruits and berries are for us.  Casually pass the checkouts of your supermarket and the health and fitness magazine covers are raving about these "Super Foods".  Flicking around the TV or while you are surfing the internet we get the same message; fresh fruits and berries are packed with not just juicy flavour but with vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants that help us be more healthy, fight disease and lose weight.  But come on - we knew this.  Mom was always telling us if we were hungry grab and apple.  She must be giggling now to see these same "super foods" dressed up in their superhero capes! 

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My New Greenhouse

 

Last year for Mother's Day Nigel promised to build me my very own eight by twelve foot greenhouse.  I have often lamented the loss of the little potting shed I left behind when we moved up to the Garden Centre, 17 years ago.   It's a funny thing; I have two fairly large greenhouses at the Garden Centre, right? But it's not the same as a wee place of your own, where you can go and poke about.  A personal greenhouse is an amazing place. 

So early this Spring my greenhouse was ready to go.  If there was ever a year when you wanted a greenhouse, this cool (the coldest in 50 years) Spring was the year to get it!  I'm so happy.  I told Nigel that he is good on Mother's Day gifts for many years.   We have already eaten 20 or more salads with greens from my greenhouse and the taste of home-grown greens is incomparable.  It's easy to forget how good home-grown tastes.  Soon it will be time to re-seed for later harvests but that I will do in the veggie patch now that we are into June.

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