As the 2022 gardening season approaches, Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners have compiled a list of local seed houses, nurseries and soil suppliers. Some businesses are closed during the winter months, so please check individual business websites for spring opening dates/hours, if not listed here.
Seeds are available online from many seed companies in Canada and beyond, but here in the Kingston area we are fortunate to be able to support several local companies and organizations, which specialize in producing seeds adapted to our regional conditions.
Bear Root Gardens: Locally adapted vegetable seeds, all organically grown and packaged on their property in Verona.
Kitchen Table Seed House: Produces certified organic vegetable, herb and flower seeds with with a focus on supplying open-pollinated, regionally-adapted, farm selected seed. Located on Wolfe Island, near Kingston, Ont.
KASSI (Kingston Area Seed System Initiative): A non-profit, volunteer run organization founded by local farmers, gardeners and concerned community members who want to ensure seed and food sovereignty in our region. Their seed commons is a living collection of locally adapted open-pollinated seeds, available on a sliding scale donation.
Burt’s Greenhouses: 539 Maple Rd, Odessa. Grows bedding plants, perennials, shrubs and vegetables at their location near Odessa.
Connon Nurseries: 956A Highway 2, Quinte West. Over 8 acres of nursery stock, seasonal products and garden accessories at the Trenton, Ont location.
Kiwi Gardens 687 Harper Rd, Perth, Ont. Ten acres of mature show gardens, garden art and a nursery with perennials propagated, grown, and dug from gardens on site. Open May through September.
Patchwork Gardens: 4649 Milburn Road, Battersea, Ontario. Certified organic vegetable farm, growing vegetables since 2004 for Kingston area grocery stores and restaurants. Pre-order spring plant sale available online in January
Made in the Shade Perennials 3626 Hwy 2, Gananoque, Ont. Nursery dedicated to growing large, high quality perennials for both sun and shade. Pre-orders open in January, open to in person shopping April 20.
Natural Themes 219 Maybee Rd, Frankford, Ont. Grower of North American native plants for gardens, restorations and rehabilitation projects
Potter’s Nurseries: 690 Golden Mile Rd, Kingston. Specializes in quality nursery stock including shrubs, evergreens, hedges, fruiting plants, roses, large specimen trees and colourful perennials. Open year-round.
Riley’s Garden Centre: 2129 Bath Rd, Kingston. Locally owned independent garden center carrying annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines, roses, vegetables, planters, garden wares.
Sheila’s Greenhouse: A small, family run, rural farm greenhouse grower, offering spring season plants for sale at their retail outlet at McCormick’s Country Store 2561 County Road 4 Camden East
Simple Country Pleasures: Family owned business growing unique and hard to find perennials, annuals, herbs & vegetable plants. Selection also available at the Kingston Farmer’s Market.
Sun Harvest Greenhouses 2542 Perth Rd, Glenburnie. Family owned since 2002, growing hydroponic greenhouse produce and a wide variety of garden annuals and perennials. Re-opening March 2022
The Friends of Lemoine Point developed and manage a Native Plant Nursery at the north end of Lemoine Point to grow their own plant stock for reforestation activities, using seeds and cuttings collected from native trees and shrubs. Trees, shrubs and wildflowers are also available for sale to the public. All proceeds go back into the operation of the nursery. 1440 Coverdale Dr. Kingston ON.
Credit Valley Conservation maintains a list of Ontario native plant nurseries (check for shipping availability)
Fruit and Nut Trees Nurseries
When buying a fruit tree, ask about the source. Often nurseries and and box stores source their fruit trees from Oregon. These trees may not have the same hardiness as trees grafted and grown in Ontario or Quebec. Nor can they list which root stock the fruit tree is grafted onto. Ideally, choose a fruit tree from a nursery where you can select a root stock best suited to your soil.
- Whiffletree near Waterloo ships bareroot in spring & fall
- Hardy Fruit Tree Nursery near Montreal ships bareroot in spring & fall
- Silvercreek Nurseries near Wellesley ships bareroot in spring & fall
- Tree Mobile is a non-profit that sells fruit trees to help fund grants to community groups, but their trees need to be picked up in Toronto
- Ferguson Tree Nursery
- Nutcracker Nursery & Tree Farm
- Golden Bough Tree Farm: Order online for delivery. Quite a few native plants. Also have a few fruit & nut trees.
Soil and Compost
Soil and compost in bulk quantities (including delivery) is available at:
Bayridge Landscaping 1077 Sydenham Rd, Kingston, Ont
L. Martin Garden Centre 2917 Princess St., Kingston, Ont
Marshall’s Garden Centre 1905 John Counter Blvd, Kingston (formerly Pyke Farms Landscaping)
Marshall’s Lawncare and Garden Centre 792 Development Drive, Kingston
Tomlinson Environmental Services 650 Fortune Crescent, Kingston, Ont. Facility converts food and yard waste into high-grade A and AA compost and mulch used by commercial landscapers and home gardeners.
There are different types of soil testing:
For mineral/chemical tests: The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) maintains a list of accredited soil testing labs in the province. Refer to company websites for testing parameters, including macronutrients, micronutrients, pH, fertility analysis and soil microbiology.
For the living fraction of the soil, testing for microorganisms (bacteria/fungi, protozoa etc.); also compost quality, plant tissue analysis:
Docterre Soil life consulting and laboratory service based in Quebec
Soil Foodweb New York Website provides information regarding US Dept of Agriculture permit requirements for soils coming into the US
Soil Health Burlington, Ont
And for an interesting experiment on soil health, try the OMAFRA Soil life test DIY Underwear Test !