Jamey Lauinger of Valley Succulents shows off his 8-10 year old myrtillocactus cristata

Qualicum Beach is going to seed

15th annual Seedy Saturday to kick off 2016 gardening season Feb. 6

Leave behind the January “blahs” and gear up for the 2016 gardening season this weekend in the 15th annual Seedy Saturday at Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

The Qualicum Beach Seedy, started by five devoted local gardeners in 2002, has grown from a seed swap into a full-blown garden expo while gaining the reputation of being the best Seedy Saturday in Canada. A year ago, it drew more than 2,500 visitors.

This year’s Seedy Saturday will be held Feb. 6, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., both inside and outside the Civic Centre.

This year’s theme will be Meeting Garden Challenges and will feature presentations from two knowledgeable speakers.

Linda Gilkeson will address insects, plant disorders/diseases, and their diagnoses but will also zero in on environmental disorders like extreme heat, cold, nutrient deficiencies, and more. The following speaker, Connie Kuramoto, will follow with Water, Water, Everywhere! to help gardeners deal with drought situations of the type experienced in the area last year.

The Seed Swap encourages gardeners to collect, package in seed-size envelopes, and label seeds from their own gardens to swap for seeds brought in by fellow gardeners. With many organic and heritage seeds available, the Seed Swap is a favourite at Seedy Saturday and runs from 9:45 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. Seeds are also available for purchase for those without seeds to swap.

Other popular Seedy Saturday features are the Seedy Cafe; Master Gardeners’ Panel; seventy-plus vendors of seeds, plants, and other gardening items; Milner Garden’s Shoots with Roots children’s program; a raffle for four valuable prizes; a farmers’ market; and multiple door prizes.

For more information on Seedy Saturday, visit the website: www.qbseedysaturday.com.

— Submitted by Sandy Glazier

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