Earth Day Dig-In 2014

Despite the pouring rain, over 70 volunteers from Dawson’s faculty, staff, and student body showed up throughout the day on Earth Day for the rooftop gardens’ first dig-in event of 2014. Many more showed up throughout the rest of Earth Week to clean up, water, and beautify the gardens. Many thanks to all who lent a hand in support (along with, in some cases, gardening gloves, shovels, trowels, and the rest)!

What we planted and why:

While the received wisdom in Montreal is to plant after Victoria Day weekend, we have adopted a planting strategy specifically adapted to the Montreal micro-climate this year at Dawson. We plant in three waves: spring, summer, and autumn. Each planting session involves different varieties of vegetables and fruits that do well in Montreal’s cooler spring and hot summer. Why? It helps extend the life and productivity of urban gardens. Here’s what we planted on Earth Day:
lettuce (red salad bowl, oak leaf, four seasons, deer tongue, plato romaine, Paris island), roquette (adagio & wild), swiss chard (bright lights & rhubarb), red russian kale, bok choy, red cabbage, peas (Oregon sugar pod, golden sweet snow & green arrow), windsor beans, carrots (Napoli & cosmic purple), radishes (French breakfast & scarlet globe), onions (Dakota tears, deep purple & red wing), spinach, & a variety of herbs (especially parsley, oregano, & thyme).

Be sure to check out our planters, self-watering containers, and new raised beds at the cafeteria near the theatre and in the southern courtyard of Conrod’s.

Where we are going:

We still have a way to go in expanding for the summer season. To prepare, we made self-watering seedling containers out of reused materials for heirloom tomato seeds we saved from the end of the harvest last year. See them next to the cafeteria garden site. In late May/early June, we will add these tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and all of the warm weather veggies to the planting mix. To help us out, we have welcomed seven interns who will learn about urban agriculture and help us plan the expansion at Dawson. Stay tuned for invites to the summer dig-in and volunteer opportunities! Check out our Facebook page at: and our website at for up-to-date information on the our events in the coming months.

Up Next? Workshop and Seedling Sale to help your own garden grow

Join us this weekend on May 3rd for a workshop on organic vegetable gardening and seedling sale with Urban Seedling. The best part? Proceeds support the Dawson College Rooftop Gardens Project. Details to follow!

Questions? Contact us for more volunteer opportunities.

The Rooftop Gardens Team

Calling all volunteers!!

Spring is officially here! Join us for our first official Dig-In at the Rooftop Gardens on Earth Day, April 22, 2014! Dawson is partnering this year with Urban Seedling to open the gardens and plant the rooftop sites. All are welcome to come and plant! We need you to register to join one of the team sites. So, PLEEEAAASE register below by April 17, 2014. Wear clothes to get dirty and help us dig-in to the new gardening year! We look forward to spring with you!

Click HERE to register

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Last Modified: April 4, 2014