Airdrie Community Gardens

Welcome to the Airdrie Horticultural Society and Community Gardens!

For information please contact us at airdriegardens@gmail.com

The Airdrie Horticultural Society would like to invite everyone to our monthly meetings, the 4th Thursday evening each month. We meet at 7:30pm at Airdrie Agriculture Centre on 97 East Lake Ramp, Airdrie, AB, T4A 0C3. As Community Gardeners you are gifted with a membership for the hort society. A membership is available for $25/year which will give you a 10% discounts at garden centres or a drop in fee of $5 for each workshop.

Topics for Upcoming Workshops

  • April 23, 2020 / Online
  • May 28, 2020 / TBA

Bring your coffee and a notebook and let’s learn and share together

Hints of Spring - Submitted by Carol Nickel

At this time of year in Alberta, we begin to appreciate the longer daylight and start to see some of the warmer temperatures that tell us that spring is at least on its way, even though the wintery winds and snow storms are not finished with us. If you are like me, at this time of year you can’t seem to wait to get your hands in the dirt and see the new growth on the trees and shrubs! Unless you have a heated greenhouse it just is too early to get out there but we can prepare.

Starting some of our plants from seed indoors can be one way to feed the gardening bug as well as project to keep us entertained while we are isolating at home as a result of COVID-19. Also at great activity with you kids! Whether you have one tray of seedlings or twenty it is a joy to see the little green plants begin to grow. If you are newer to gardening and have never done this before there are a few simple things to know.

First of all, you don’t need all the gadgets. Over time you may want to add a few gadgets but if this is your first year start simple. You can buy seed trays and the black plastic pots (dollar store, Walmart etc. are good places to find them) or you can simply use containers like plastic cups or egg cartons or other plastic food containers. The important part of this process is you need light, heat, soil and moisture.

Some people like to buy special LED lighting or heating pads and these do work well but I have always just put my seedling rack in front of my dining room window (south facing and warm) and it works quite well.

For soil I have generally used a seedling soil (or a potting soil), as it is light enough to allow the seeds to sprout easily. You will want to moisten the soil before you seed to help encourage germination.

Moisture can be a fickle thing with seedlings. Too much and you can get mold and disease, too little and the fragile seedlings will shrivel up and die. Use a plastic cover to help the soil retain moisture until the seedlings are up out of the soil. At that point, take off the plastic covers and turn on a fan. The fan helps circulate the air and also strengthens the little plants. A good practice for watering is to water from the bottom by putting water in the tray holding the pots. The water wicks up into the pot but does not sit around the plant stem which can cause problems. You can also use a spray bottle to keep young seedlings moist without over watering.

Some seeds have specific requirements to germinate. Some need a cold period of time, some need darkness, and some need light so be sure to read the directions on the seed packages. Reading seed packages can give lots of valuable information about things like when to plant, how deep to plant, seeding indoors or out and sometimes they give you the days till harvest as well.

If you have never done this before, start with some of the easier to grow veggies (tomatoes, peppers) and flowers (marigolds, calendula). Seeing those plants pop up will be gratifying and encourage you on to other things.

If things don’t work out, keep trying. Many people say to me “I wish I could grow things like you!” My response to them is “Just keep trying! Failure is a good teacher.”

We hope to make this news article a monthly event and are excited to know what topics you would like to hear about. Please email ideas to airdriegardens@gmail.com.

Passion for gardening ?

You are in luck ! We currently have openings for members of our Board of Directors.

The primary activities of the Airdrie Horticultural Society are currently the planning and operations of Airdrie Community Gardens, and exciting activities to spread the passion for gardening and nature's beauty to children and adults throughout our great city.

If you are looking an opportunity to share this same passion with like minded community members while building a vision for our community, we want to hear from you! Email airdriegardens@gmail.com to find out more.