Edible Plants2024-03-11T22:40:49+00:00

GROW YOUR OWN

Edible Plants

One of the most wonderful parts of gardening is the food that Mother Nature provides for us as a reward! Hunters Garden Centre carries a wide range of edible plants, including fruit, fruit trees, herbs and vegetables. Whatever your culinary needs, we can help you start a food garden.

Many of the following plants listed can be grown in both the ground and container gardens.

Click below to download a complete list of edible plants you can grow in your own garden!

outdoor edibles feature

Best Herbs to Grow in Your Garden

There’s nothing better than fresh, homegrown herbs! Herbs are one of the easiest groups of plants to grow and many herbs are perennials. In general, they require sun and well drained, average soil. You can start your own herbs from seeds or buy plants that are already growing and ready to harvest.

Best Fruit Trees to Plant in Your Garden

At Hunters Garden Centre you can choose from a selection of fruit trees that are suitable to grow in the Greater Vancouver area. Our selection of fruit trees arrives in late February or early March and we carry them through the summer, normally selling out in early fall. You can choose from more than 100 varieties of large fruit trees.

Some fruit trees, like apples, require a second tree for pollination. So, to get more fruit ensure that you plant two varieties.” If you have a small backyard with room for only one fruit tree, be sure to select a self-pollinating variety or one of our combination trees that has multiple varieties on the same tree. Most of the fruit trees available are semi-dwarf reaching approximately 15-20 feet high in 10 years. Some of the varieties available are dwarf and will reach approximately 10-15 feet high in 10 years.

Please note that due to space limitations, not all varieties are available at our Vancouver store, but you can have any variety transferred from our Surrey store.

TIPS FOR

Growing and Harvesting Garlic In Your Garden

Planting and Tending Garlic

Garlic can be planted in the fall or in the spring. Fall planting allows the garlic to develop roots and feed before the winter extending the growing season to produce larger bulbs. When planting separate the bulbs into individual cloves and plant the cloves, top side up, four to six inches apart so they will have room to grow. It is best to rotate your crops and not plant them in the same place again for three to four years. Garlic can be grown in the ground, raised beds and even regularly watered pots as long as they are in a sunny area.

A well-balanced soil that is loose enough for the bulb to grow and expand is best for planting garlic. Ordinary garden soil with a little manure added before planting is great. If you have heavy clay soil, consider building a raised bed and importing well-draining soil for your garlic. In containers, an outdoor potting mix is best. If planting in the fall it is recommended to mulch your garlic with straw in order to prevent early sprouting during winter warm spells and keep the ground an even temperature to increase hardiness and winter root growth.

Fertilize in the early spring to give it a boost just as the foliage gets a good start.

Garlic does not like to dry out completely during its growing season, preferring slightly moist but not wet soil. Make sure it gets regular watering once it gets summer heat.

If you have hardneck garlic, a long curly stem of a flower bud called a scape will appear in mid-spring and should be snapped off to promote larger bulb growth. They are excellent to eat either in stir fry or pickled!

Harvesting and Storing

The best time to harvest garlic is when the lower leaves have died down and only the top few leaves are still green. Once the garlic starts losing its leaves discontinue watering and let the soil dry out for about a week to make harvesting easier. Use a shovel or garden fork and slip the blade down beside them, working it underneath to gently pry them up from the bottom.

Garlic can be eaten fresh but has a very different flavor. In order to be stored garlic needs to be cured. Allow your harvested garlic to dry (stems still attached dirt and all) in a cool, well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight for 2 to 3 weeks. Then the dirt can be rubbed off with the outer layer of papery skin and stems trimmed to half an inch above the bulb. Keep aside the largest healthiest bulbs for next year’s planting and store all the bulbs in a dry, cool, well-ventilated space.

Types of Garlic

Softneck garlic is generally milder flavoured and can be stored longer (6-12 months). It is commonly grown in a mild winter climate and planted either in the fall or early spring.

Hardneck garlic is more winter hardy and is usually grown in areas that have very long, cold winters. It can be identified by a rigid stem visable in the centre of the bulb. Hardnecks are usually planted in the fall, often have stronger, spicier flavor and store well.

  • Regular White – Common type of white garlic, has a mild flavor.
  • Elephant – Has large cloves but very mild flavor
  • Bogatyr – A hardneck variety known for its hot, strong taste. Excellent for roasting
  • Duganski – Fiery flavor that mellows when cooked. Sores well.
  • German Hardneck – A very nice strain for our northern climates. Great for roasting due to large cloves.
  • Legacy – A rocambole hardneck garlic that produces 4 to 6 very large cloves in a bulb. Has a strong, full flavour.
  • Metechi – Spicy hot flavor, said to grow like a weed and store like a rock!
  • Mexican Purple – This garlic has a hot flavour when raw, but becomes milder when baked
  • Music – Music is large beautiful and a well-formed porcelain garlic. Its flavor is very rich and musky, strong and robust and sticks around for a while.
  • Amazing Red – The standard of excellent flavor in rocambole hardneck garlic. This is a delightfully mild, full flavored, productive garlic that store very well, present a nice appearance and has an excellent raw flavor.
  • Red Rezan – A hardneck garlic with a strong aroma without too much heat; hot when raw, milder when cooked.
  • Russian Red – A rocambole hardneck garlic with a rich, musky flavour and is very hot when eaten raw. Grows great in the northwest.
  • Siberian – Large bulbs, spicy flavour that becomes milder with storage. Great grower, excellently stored.
  • Armenian Porcelain- A musky hardneck rocambole garlic. Good for storage and eating raw
  • Quebec Porcelain- Very strong smokey aroma. Hot taste.
  • Persian Star- Hardneck variety with a spicy full flavor. Has a strong bite. Stores well.
  • Dan’s Italian- A Rocambole variety that is late to mature. Full flavoured with a bit of sharpness to the taste.

TIPS FOR

Growing and Harvesting Garlic In Your Garden

Planting and Tending Garlic

Garlic can be planted in the fall or in the spring. Fall planting allows the garlic to develop roots and feed before the winter extending the growing season to produce larger bulbs. When planting separate the bulbs into individual cloves and plant the cloves, top side up, four to six inches apart so they will have room to grow. It is best to rotate your crops and not plant them in the same place again for three to four years. Garlic can be grown in the ground, raised beds and even regularly watered pots as long as they are in a sunny area.

A well-balanced soil that is loose enough for the bulb to grow and expand is best for planting garlic. Ordinary garden soil with a little manure added before planting is great. If you have heavy clay soil, consider building a raised bed and importing well-draining soil for your garlic. In containers, an outdoor potting mix is best. If planting in the fall it is recommended to mulch your garlic with straw in order to prevent early sprouting during winter warm spells and keep the ground an even temperature to increase hardiness and winter root growth.

Fertilize in the early spring to give it a boost just as the foliage gets a good start.

Garlic does not like to dry out completely during its growing season, preferring slightly moist but not wet soil. Make sure it gets regular watering once it gets summer heat.

If you have hardneck garlic, a long curly stem of a flower bud called a scape will appear in mid-spring and should be snapped off to promote larger bulb growth. They are excellent to eat either in stir fry or pickled!

Harvesting and Storing

The best time to harvest garlic is when the lower leaves have died down and only the top few leaves are still green. Once the garlic starts losing its leaves discontinue watering and let the soil dry out for about a week to make harvesting easier. Use a shovel or garden fork and slip the blade down beside them, working it underneath to gently pry them up from the bottom.

Garlic can be eaten fresh but has a very different flavor. In order to be stored garlic needs to be cured. Allow your harvested garlic to dry (stems still attached dirt and all) in a cool, well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight for 2 to 3 weeks. Then the dirt can be rubbed off with the outer layer of papery skin and stems trimmed to half an inch above the bulb. Keep aside the largest healthiest bulbs for next year’s planting and store all the bulbs in a dry, cool, well-ventilated space.

Types of Garlic

Softneck garlic is generally milder flavoured and can be stored longer (6-12 months). It is commonly grown in a mild winter climate and planted either in the fall or early spring.

Hardneck garlic is more winter hardy and is usually grown in areas that have very long, cold winters. It can be identified by a rigid stem visable in the centre of the bulb. Hardnecks are usually planted in the fall, often have stronger, spicier flavor and store well.

  • Regular White – Common type of white garlic, has a mild flavor.
  • Elephant – Has large cloves but very mild flavor
  • Bogatyr – A hardneck variety known for its hot, strong taste. Excellent for roasting
  • Duganski – Fiery flavor that mellows when cooked. Sores well.
  • German Hardneck – A very nice strain for our northern climates. Great for roasting due to large cloves.
  • Legacy – A rocambole hardneck garlic that produces 4 to 6 very large cloves in a bulb. Has a strong, full flavour.
  • Metechi – Spicy hot flavor, said to grow like a weed and store like a rock!
  • Mexican Purple – This garlic has a hot flavour when raw, but becomes milder when baked
  • Music – Music is large beautiful and a well-formed porcelain garlic. Its flavor is very rich and musky, strong and robust and sticks around for a while.
  • Amazing Red – The standard of excellent flavor in rocambole hardneck garlic. This is a delightfully mild, full flavored, productive garlic that store very well, present a nice appearance and has an excellent raw flavor.
  • Red Rezan – A hardneck garlic with a strong aroma without too much heat; hot when raw, milder when cooked.
  • Russian Red – A rocambole hardneck garlic with a rich, musky flavour and is very hot when eaten raw. Grows great in the northwest.
  • Siberian – Large bulbs, spicy flavour that becomes milder with storage. Great grower, excellently stored.
  • Armenian Porcelain- A musky hardneck rocambole garlic. Good for storage and eating raw
  • Quebec Porcelain- Very strong smokey aroma. Hot taste.
  • Persian Star- Hardneck variety with a spicy full flavor. Has a strong bite. Stores well.
  • Dan’s Italian- A Rocambole variety that is late to mature. Full flavoured with a bit of sharpness to the taste.

FAQs

How to grow Raspberries and Blackberries?2022-04-04T20:51:38+00:00

Raspberries and Blackberries have the same basic cultural requirements. They prefer deep, well drained soil, but plenty of water and sun during fruit development. These cane fruits are very hardy and easy to grow. They produce new canes every spring, which grow vigorously and must be supported either with a stake or along a wire.

Fertilize new canes with 6-8-6 granular fertilizer and water well. Feed in early spring (March- April) with a Fruit Tree and Berry Food (4-20-20) or a top dressing of compost to promote fruit development.

Click here for more information and to download the full Raspberry & Blackberry Care Guide.

What’s wrong with my Peach Tree?2022-04-04T20:49:30+00:00

On the West Coast, peaches have two basic diseases, peach leaf curl and gumming.

Peach Leaf Curl

In spring, peach leaves start to curl and thicken with a reddish, crisp texture. Leaves then turn brown and fall off the tree. This disease can be controlled by using a dormant spray during winter or a copper spray in the early spring

Gumming

Gumming occurs at the sight where damage to the bark has been done by bacterial grown or canker. Control is only done by removing the affected growth below the diseased area. Be sure to disinfect your pruners after each cut.

Click here to download the full Peach Tree Care Guide.

How do I grow Kiwis?2022-04-04T20:48:07+00:00

A large family of vines, Kiwis makes beautiful ornamental plants and produce delicious fruit with ten times the vitamin C content of lemons. They are easy to grow and are free of pests and diseases. Kiwis are vigorous vines. Excellent for a privacy screen, they will rapidly cover a fence and, with support, will cover a wall or steep slope. They can spread up to 30 feet.

All varieties except ‘Issai’ need both male and female plants to produce fruit. One male can pollinate up to 8 females. The fuzzy Kiwi male is the best pollinator

Click here for more information and to download the full Kiwi Care Guide.

How do I grow the best Tomatoes?2022-04-04T20:45:46+00:00

Tomatoes are one of the easiest and most rewarding crops to grow in your garden. There are lots of great varieties to choose from, each giving you something different, from the small cherry and grape varieties to the large Beefsteak type. You can start them from seed in March and April or buy the plants already grown from May through July. If planted in a good location, they can produce crops well into October.

Tomatoes should be planted in a location that gets as much sun as possible. A minimum of 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight is required to produce good crops of Tomatoes. The soil should be fertile and retain some moisture as Tomatoes require lots of nutrients and water. The ideal pH is between 6.0 and 6.8. You can test your soil to determine the pH of your soil.

As a general rule you should not plant your Tomatoes outside until after May 24th.

Click here for more information and to download the full Tomato Growing & Care Guide

How do I grow Strawberries?2024-04-26T19:08:06+00:00

Strawberries are very easy to grow.

Strawberries can grow and produce for many years in your garden. They multiply themselves so you can continue to expand your strawberry patch every year. The hardest part about growing them is right after you plant them, you have to force yourself to remove their blooms so that the plant can become established before growing fruit.

Strawberries grow in most soil types but prefer well-drained soil. If you have clay-like soil, you may want to build a raised bed for your strawberries, as hard clay is about the only thing, they don’t grow well in. You can also grow them in pots, containers, or hanging baskets.

Strawberries need full sun. While they grow with as little as 6 hours of sun a day, the size of the berries and the quantity produced will be small. Strawberries have shallow roots, so they need to be planted somewhere where they will not be overwhelmed by ground cover.

Click here for more information and to download the full Strawberry Growing & Care Guide.

How do I start a vegetable garden?2022-04-04T20:38:57+00:00

For best results a vegetable garden should be well planned. Locate the entire garden in as much sun as possible. Plan your rows to run North-South. Decide what vegetable you want to grow and plan how much space each takes up.

You can plant your vegetable gardens in March, April, and May depending on the weather. To get an early start you can use a greenhouse, cold frame, or row covers to protect young plantings from cold or insects.

Cool Weather Crops – are the first ones to be sown or planted, usually in March or April. These include; cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, carrots, radishes, peas, broad beans, potatoes, onions, garlic, and turnips.

Warm Weather Crops – are usually planted in May when all danger of frost has past. At this time you can sow: beans, corn, cucumbers, peppers, squash, and tomatoes.

Late Crop Vegetables – are usually planted in June or July. At this time you can plant; cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, parsnips, and leeks. You can also start fall crops of lettuce.

Click here to download the full Vegetable Garden information brochure.

How do I grow grapes?2022-04-04T20:29:50+00:00

Grape vines need to be planted in full sun in order to produce more fruit and avoid fungus problems. Make sure the soil where you are planting is well-draining.

When planting, dig a good sized hole, twice as wide and twice as deep as the root ball. Place the plant in the hole, mixing some compost in with the existing soil. Fill the hole so that the base of the plant is level with the soil when planted. Tamp the soil down well and settle it in with water to remove all air spaces. Grapes need a lot of root space to thrive.

Click here to download the full Grape Growing & Care Guide

How do I plant garlic?2022-04-04T20:29:09+00:00

Garlic can be planted in the fall or in the spring. Fall planting allows the garlic to develop roots and feed before the winter extending the growing season to produce larger bulbs. When planting separate the bulbs into individual cloves and plant the cloves, top side up, four to six inches apart so they will have room to grow. It is best to rotate your crops and not plant them in the same place again for three to four years. Garlic can be grown in the ground, raised beds and even regularly watered pots as long as they are in a sunny area.

Click here to download the full Garlic Growing Guide for more information.

What are some edible plants and flowers?2022-04-04T19:24:51+00:00
  • Lavender
  • Gladiolus
  • Lilac
  • Borage
  • Dianthus/Carnations
  • Jasmine
  • Nasturium
  • Begonia
  • Rose
  • Viola/Pansy
  • Snapdragon
  • Petunia
  • Marigold/Calendula
  • Daisy
  • Rosemary
  • Dandelion
  • Dahlia
  • Thyme
  • Chive
  • Scented Geranium
  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Strawberry
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Current
  • Blueberry
  • Catnip
  • Raspberry
  • Salal
  • Wintergreen
  • Squash
  • Clover
  • Fuschia
  • Agastache
  • Angelica
  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cornflower
  • Day Lillies
  • Hollyhock
  • Honeysuckle
  • Impatiens
  • Primrose
  • Safflower
  • Sunflower (Unopened)
How do I grow blueberries?2022-04-04T20:28:33+00:00

Blueberries are excellent plants for the home gardener, providing not only delicious fruit, but plants that have outstanding ornamental value as well. Blueberries are easy to grow, require little care and are seldom bothered by pests. Fruiting occurs from July to October depending on the variety.

Plant blueberries in an area that receives full sun in a well-drained, acidic soil that is high in organic matter.

Blueberries are shallow-rooted, so they require lots of watering to avoid heat stress and to produce the best fruit.

Blueberries are self fertile, however planting two different varieties increases the amount of fruit that each will produce. Most blueberries bloom at about the same time so any two varieties will pollinate each other.

Click here to download the full blueberry information brochure.

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