Container gardening workshop
Step by step, we’ll discover how easy it is to plant gardens that make a difference to our wildlife!
Supporting our pollinators
Did you know that the types of plants in your garden can have food or habitat value for important wildlife? Native birds, bees and butterflies have evolved over the years alongside specific plant species and need them to thrive.
Pollinators are animals (such as birds or insects) that move pollen from one flower to another, fertilizing our crops and other important plants. Pollinators are important for our food system and for the ecosystem but are threatened by habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change.
You can help
If you have access to outdoor space, you can grow a garden that provides healthy food and natural habitat for our native pollinators. The more of these gardens there are, the more our pollinators are supported!
Check out our workshop video, guidelines document, and FAQ below for all that you need to get started!
These are the materials you would need for ONE planter container with four different species.
- All-purpose potting soil (~ 10-15 L). Make sure that it’s potting mix and not garden soil!
- 4 or more seed starting containers, with drainage holes (~2 inches in diameter)
- 4 or more seedling containers, with drainage holes (~4 inches in diameter)
- 1 large planter, with drainage hole (~14 inches in diameter)
- Species of seeds native to the mixed wood plain of Montreal (See below)
- Enough outdoor space for one large planter (~ 14 x 14”)
Good to have:
- Marker and popsicle sticks / plastic spoons or masking tape for labelling your seeds
- Sand and a baggie or container, for any seeds that require cold germination in the fridge (more about this in the workshop and the guidelines document above)
- Rocks, for covering your planter’s drainage holes
- Mulch materials, for insulating your container plants in the fall
- Organic solid fertilizer, for fertilizing your plants in the spring
If you want to choose your own seeds, the following species are easy to grow and native to Montreal*:
- Bee Balm/Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
- Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
- Aster species (Aster sp.)
- Tall Meadow Rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum)
- Sunflower species (Helianthus sp.)
- Milkweed species (Asclepias sp; syriaca; fistulosa; incarnata)
- Spotted Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum)
- Common Yarrow (Acillea millefolium)
- Nodding Wild Onion (Allium cernuum)
- Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)
- Balsam Ragwort (Packera paupercula)
- Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)
- For seed starter containers (~2"), egg cartons work perfectly! Just add 1-2 holes in each little pot for drainage.
- For seedling containters (~4"), you can use containers from yogurt (add 2-4 holes for drainage) or mushrooms containers (usually these already have holes underneath!)
- For planters (~12-14"), you can get creative. Garbage pails, buckets, wooden crates, and more can be used! You can even cut the top off the large plastic containers that cat sand sometimes comes in.
- To label your seeds after you sow them, you can use popsicle sticks or plastic spoons that you have lying around. Stick those in the soil and label with the name of your seeds! Or, mark the name on some masking tape and attach that to your start pots.