Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Mar 30, 2011 04:29 PM

ISO in the GTA Italian vegetable

plants for my garden. Like Tuscan kale, specialty lettuces, chards, etc/

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Highland Farms usually has a display of imported Italian garden seeds, tho' I didn't see them last week.

    Highland Farms
    850 Ellesmere Rd, Toronto, ON M1P, CA

    Highland Farms
    3300 Rutherford Rd, Vaughan, ON L4K 5Z2, CA

    1. Rarely available in any great variety as plants(way too early) since they're grown from seed. I usually get mine from Italian bakeries(!?)around Mississauga. Like jayt90 said, Highland Farms carries a good seed selection. Starting tomatoes and perennials in the basement grow-op this weekend.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kagemusha

        I get some from Diana Grocery on St. Clair. They have cardoon seeds (cardone) and a variety of radicchios, nice stuff. They close early though.

        1299 St Clair Ave W is the address, west of Dufferin.

        St Clair Restaurant
        69 St Clair St, Chatham, ON N7L3H8, CA

      2. I buy most of my plants at the garden centre behind Lady York on Dufferin. Nice selection of good quality plants, and reasonable prices.
        I'll also be visiting Bill's Garden Centre on Pape this spring. If you're willing to travel a little beyond the GTA, Richter's carries pretty much everything. You can also buy their plants online.
        I like the selection of seeds at Sheridan Nurseries, too. Found some baby corn seeds, as well as some unusual varieties of okra. Sheridan also has some seeds for Italian varieties of greens, beans, etc.
        This thread might have some other ideas for you:
        After losing some tomatoes and peppers to a freeze the last week of May last year, I won't be planting much until June 1st.

        Lady York Foods
        2939 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON , CA

        1. Fortino's at Lawrence Square has a rack of Italian seed varieties on display.

          1. Any place I can buy plants not the seeds? I just don't have time to start them.

            9 Replies
            1. re: itryalot

              Sorry but I have to ask what does ISO mean?

                1. re: Kagemusha

                  Thanks Kage. i don't know why I couldn't figure that one out. :)

              1. re: itryalot

                As already mentioned, these usually aren't sold as plants. You might as well visit a good produce dept. Anything planted up and sold is basically a one-shot affair; left in the ground, lettuces "bolt" and reach maturity. They're not like tomato plants.It's too early to start them now. Get some seeds, get a bed ready, and sow sequentially to keep a steady supply during the summer. That's how it works.If you can't do that, then just buy what's available in the market.

                1. re: itryalot

                  Most gardeners without a greenhouse don't plant "plants" until Victoria Day or later, because ON still gets frost until late May (which will kill young plants), so most garden centres don't sell plants until May.

                  All the places mentioned in this thread sell plants, as do most garden centres run by Sears, Zellers, Loblaw, Metro in the 'burbs, etc. Quite a few of the Korean or Chinese-run produce stores on Yonge St, College, Avenue Rd, not sure where else, will also be selling vegetable plants in May and June, but I've had my best luck with plants bought from the Lady York grocery store's garden centre.

                  1. re: prima

                    Right but the plants in question rarely, if ever, show up for the reasons I sketched out. These aren't really that hard to grow. Just don't expect the usual plug-n-play Victoria Day thing for lettuces, etc. You have to sow them continuously to keep the supply of greens coming during the summer, OK?

                    1. re: Kagemusha

                      Kagemusha, maybe it wasn't clear, but I was trying to respond to itryalot, not your post. itryalot's question of "any place i can buy plants but not seeds" made me think that itryalot might be talking about plants in general, not specifically Italian greens, regardless of the OP's subject line.

                      Didn't have a problem with anything you wrote, and wasn't trying to criticize in any way.

                      Thanks for your pro bono gardening advice, but I already know how to grow my greens, Italian or not. ;-)

                    2. re: prima

                      Victoria day planting is a fallacy. The last frost date in Toronto is May 10. Marjoie Harris says it is May 9.

                      Prima, as you mention, Lady York may have Italian type plants, as well as many other garden centers in the Italian or Portuguese areas of Toronto. Dufferin Mall is another place to consider.

                      But these are not Italian plants: they are grown from Canadian, American, or UK seeds, plus other sources.
                      I don't know know if the OP wants to stray this far from the Italian seed source, at Highland Farms, but that is an authentic source.

                      Highland Farms
                      850 Ellesmere Rd, Toronto, ON M1P, CA

                      1. re: jayt90

                        I should clarify that although I buy my Italian-style Cdn plants at Lady York, I plant them outside the GTA, and the last frost date is closer to Victoria Day. I've lost plants to frost as late as May 27th. People with gardens in TO are lucky to have an earlier start date!