Growth mindset

Behind the scenes in Winnipeg’s greenhouses

New seedlings are misted in the Shelmerdine glasshouse. The business receives many plant cuttings from overseas, to which they apply a root compound and move to the heated tables in the glasshouse, where they are misted every five to 10 minutes.

With spring on the way, many Manitobans are beginning to think about their gardening plans, and the city’s greenhouses have them covered.

Shelmerdine Garden Center, Sage Garden Greenhouses and Ron Paul Garden Centre are three of these businesses that are currently ramping up for the spring growing season. While these greenhouses operate at different scales with varying specialties, they all find themselves in the same state of rapid preparation. Seeds are planted, cuttings are misted, and trays of flowers are laid out en masse.

Winnipeg has no shortage of retail greenhouses – Ron Paul Garden Centre and Sage Garden Greenhouses are two of five such businesses within a four-kilometre stretch on St. Mary’s Road, just south of the Perimeter Highway, fostering some friendly competition.

Between these three greenhouses, as well as the others throughout the city, there’s bound to be something for every green-thumbed Winnipegger this spring.

A row of hydrangeas in full bloom at Shelmerdine Garden Center

Denise Billings, Shelmerdine employee, loads freshly potted plants onto a cart that will be unloaded onto the tables in one of the greenhouses.

LEFT - Brayden Klassen, Shelmerdine greenhouse associate, holding trays of petunias

RIGHT - Shelmerdine Garden Center boasts 22 greenhouses in total. At this point in the year, only about half are in use, with the remainder to be put into operation later in the spring.

LEFT - Joy Bamford, a long-time employee of Sage Garden Greenhouses, uses a dibbler to punch holes for tomato seeds.

RIGHT - Freshly planted seedlings in the Sage Garden greenhouse. Sage Garden is the only greenhouse in Manitoba, and one of a handful in the country, that uses geothermal heating and cooling.

LEFT - Dave Hanson, one of the owners of Sage Garden Greenhouses. He and his wife, Evelyn Yauk, have owned and managed the business since 1996.

RIGHT - Kumquats grow on a tree at Sage Garden. Hanson places a lot of emphasis on a cyclical process in the greenhouse, using seeds and cuttings from plants they grow themselves rather than importing seeds from overseas. These kumquats, and a number of other tropical plants Sage Garden grows, are part of this cycle.

Flowers bloom in a greenhouse at Ron Paul Garden Centre, in the midst of a particularly impressive tomato and set of peppers.

Trays full of yellow onion seeds at Ron Paul Garden Centre

Published in Volume 78, Number 23 of The Uniter (March 28, 2024)

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