Mail Order Nurseries – Getting the right plants for your garden

Seven years ago I began my journey as a cottage owner north of Huntsville, Ontario. At the time I did not know that I had been bitten by the gardening bug, a very insidious disease. Once the disease takes hold victims feel a compulsion to spend much of their free time digging in the dirt and using their money to buy plants and seeds.

The previous home owners  had a minimalist approach to landscaping, and I saw an opportunity to increase my breadth of gardening given my new found acreage.

I quickly learned that growing in the upper limits of zone 4 is much more challenging then in the Greater Toronto Area.  In my first years I had a lot of die off. When gardening in Northern Ontario you have to contend with a shorter growing season, harsher weather, animals, and you have to be more diligent in sourcing the right plant materials for your garden.

I quickly came to the realization that the larger retailers carry limited nursery stock that thrive in northern gardens. For that reason, I turned to mail order as a way to get the plants, seeds and trees that I wanted.  I have tried various companies over the years, but this season I ordered plant material from 3 nurseries, listed below.

Treetime.ca (www.TreeTime.ca)

Located in Edmonton, Alberta Tree Time is a Western Canadian company that specializes in selling prairie hardy tree and shrub seedlings.

Pros:

  • Ordering is very easy as the website
  • Website identification of which plants are sold out
  • Online chat line which can assist you with any problems you may encounter.
  • Various discounts which you could take advantage of
  • Website allows you the opportunity to select from a variety of shipping dates
  • Shipping costs were reasonable, and all plants were received in good condition
  • Plugs had appropriate moisture content and properly packaged for shipment across the country.
  • Good search engine to find products on their website

Cons:

  • Would like to see more varieties of fruits and berries

Hardy Fruit Tree Nursery (http://www.hardyfruittrees.ca)

Located in Saint-Julienne Quebec., their focus is on propagating, growing and selling fruit trees that are adapted to the northern climate. They grow all their own trees

Pros:

  • Trees are grown naturally without herbicides, fungicides or chemical fertilizers.
  • Excellent selection of hardy fruit trees and berries
  • Great information on pollination and hardiness zones, and plant characteristics
  • Good reference information on pruning, planting etc.
  • Easy to use checkout system
  • Quick delivery, everything well packaged

Cons:

  • Website could be streamlined to identify sold out plants easier, avoiding wasted time looking at products only to find out they are not available
  • Limited quantities of more popular products at times.

T & T seeds (http://www.ttseeds.com)

T & T seeds is located in Headingley, Manitoba, and are in their 72nd year of operation. They specialize in early season garden seeds and nursery stock for the home gardener.

Pros:

  • Good selection of fruit, trees, berries, bulbs, seeds, and accessories
  • Good selection of cold hardy fruits and berries
  • Easy to order with good customer service

Cons:

  • Website design and layout
  • Improved product information on nursery stock would be beneficial

 

Over the last few years I have planted a variety of berries, fruit trees and deciduous trees on my property. The fruit trees have not started producing yet but I am hopeful that I will begin to reap the bounty of my efforts soon. The berries I planted produce  a nice supply and variety of berries throughout the year.

I am hopeful that the nursery stock I planted this year from the 3 mentioned suppliers will grow well over the coming year. My biggest regret is that I am limited in acreage and that I cannot continue endlessly try new varieties of fruits and trees in my garden. I will however experiment over the next few years with a few other suppliers which I have had not yet had the pleasure to try yet, such as Green Barn Nursery, Whiffletreefarm and Nursery and Veseys seeds.

Happy Gardening.

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3 thoughts on “Mail Order Nurseries – Getting the right plants for your garden

  1. Thank you for you review! We are always looking for ways to improve and maintain a healthy and vibrant gardening culture in Canada. You will be happy to know that a new website will launch in 2017 at T&T Seeds!
    Happy Gardening ⚘

  2. Thanks for your comment. I have ordered from you a few times and always pleased with your service. Look forward to seeing the new website

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