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Les Marchés Publics de Montréal
May 18, 2017

Tips and tricks from your producers for a successful gardening season

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Tips and tricks from your producers for a successful gardening season
Montréal’s Public Markets bring together some 20 horticulturists, all experts in their field. Visit your public market now and meet passionate producers and merchants who will be pleased to help you and give you advice. Find all the horticulturalists here.
The arrival of bedding-out plants, be they flowers, herbs or vegetables, is always eagerly awaited at the public markets. It announces the beginning of the summer season, with its heady scents, bright colours and wide range of local products.
Pansy, rosemary, coriander, tomato and cucumber plants, and lots more! These locally grown products have one thing in common: from May on, they are available in our markets thanks to the dedication of passionate producers. In this article, allow us to introduce you to two of our producers and discover what they have to offer.
Serres R. & F. Lacroix
On a lovely sunny day at the end of April, Mr. Lacroix welcomed us to his family’s greenhouses, an intergenerational enterprise situated in Laval for the past 40 years. After several days of rain, the sun was finally shining and the greenhouses were overflowing with flowers almost ready to leave for Jean Talon Market. The quantity of flowers available is amazing: over 100 different varieties, in 70,00 4 ½ inch pots and 35,000 flats. And that isn’t even counting the mixed-flower hanging baskets, always highly appreciated by customers. No doubt about it, it’s already summer in the greenhouses!
To get this far, the Lacroix family has been hard at work since January, starting production from seeds and cuttings, in order to provide you with magnificent flowers for your gardens right from the first warm days in May. From demure to flamboyant, there’s something for every taste! We took advantage of our visit to gather a few tips and tricks to help you get a good start on the summer season:
– Every year, there is one key date to remember for the start of gardening season: Mother’s Day, when temperatures are finally warming up in Montréal. If you buy flowers before then, it’s better to keep them indoors when it’s colder, or cover them with a sheet if they must remain outdoors.
– There are two very important aspects to take into account when choosing your flowers and your plants: the wind and light available in the space where they will be planted. Ensure that you select plants that are adapted to their future environment.
– For a flower-filled balcony, it is essential to repot the bedding-out flowers you purchased into larger (and especially deeper) pots, to give the roots enough space to grow and the plants to develop and flower optimally.
– Do you want a scented garden? Add herbs such as basil, and highly scented flowers such as heliotropes, which have a delicate vanilla fragrance.
– Some flowers, such as nasturtiums, begonias and pansies, are edible. Add them as a final touch to salads or cook them into colourful and fragrant jellies. You can also freeze them into ice cubes to add some panache to your summer cocktails! Success guaranteed!
– Do you find it difficult to choose? Just ask your producer for advice about which flowers to buy. According to the space that you have and the light available in your garden or on your balcony, he or she will be able to guide you to the best choices for you.
Mr. Lacroix will be at Jean Talon Market from the Mother’s Day weekend on. Don’t hesitate to stop by his stand to discover his flowers and to shop for your plants for the summer.
Serres J.C. Lauzon
Next, we visited the J.C. Lauzon greenhouses, where Madame Lauzon awaited us as she organized products to take to Jean Talon Market early the next morning. The intergenerational family business, which began slightly more than 60 years ago in Saint-Eustache, is renowned for its wide variety of vegetable and herb bedding-out plants. Every year, on March 1, the passionate team begins working in the greenhouses to grow over 200 varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers: lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, climbing beans, eggplant, cucumbers, parsley and basil, to name just a few.
From year to year, new varieties are added, based on requests from market clientele. So go ahead, talk with your producer about what you’d like to find in the market next year! This year, Serres J.C. Lauzon has some new products: lemony-flavoured thao, Malabar spinach, miniature okra and bitter melon—visit their stand to discover them.
Production methods change every year. This year, they are transitioning towards using recyclable plastic pots instead of the traditional Styrofoam containers—a great initiative to lower the environmental impact of greenhouse production. In addition, the only pesticide used is insecticidal soap, which is only applied as needed.
Here are a few tips and tricks from your producer for a successful gardening season:Would you like to garden on your urban balcony, but have limited space? Then try growing various herbs to liven up your dishes all summer. Potted cherry tomatoes and cucumbers are great examples of plants that take up little space and that will add freshness to your summer recipes.
– The most frequent gardening mistake is overwatering! Ask your producer for advice specific to each plant and how water your vegetable garden properly.
– To optimize your herb production, it’s best to bring the plants inside when the weather is bad and put them back outside when it’s nice for a good dose of sun and heat!
– Every year, add new plants to your garden. It’s always a pleasure to discover, pick and cook new vegetables!
Madame Lauzon awaits you at her stand in Jean Talon Market from May to October. Come and ask her advice and discover the panoply of local products offered.
Montréal’s Public Markets bring together some 20 horticulturists, all experts in their field. Visit your public market now and meet passionate producers and merchants who will be pleased to help you and give you advice. Find all the horticulturalists here.

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