We love answering your questions to help you know better and grow better! This season there were a few questions that came up again and again so we’re putting all the answers in our FAQs for your convenience. From how to locate our retailers, to whether we are GMO-free, you asked and we answered! Read on for answers to all the questions YOU want to know:
I love Ontario Seed Company! Where can I buy your seeds?
OSC seeds can be found across the country and our list of retailers is always growing and changing. The best way to find the retailers near you is by calling our head office at (519) 886-0557.
If you are in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, you can visit our retail store at 16 King St South in Waterloo, Ontario
I placed an order online but I haven’t received a tracking number. How do I get one?
Unfortunately, our system is not set up to automatically link tracking numbers to confirmation emails at this time. If you would like your tracking number, please request it in a reply to your confirmation email. A member of our mail order team would be happy to provide it for you.
Please note: If your order is travelling via Canada Post Lettermail, there is no tracking available.
My plants grew taller than expected. What is going on?
Excessive plant growth has been a shared experience by many Canadian growers this year, making this a very Frequently Asked Question in 2019! Some years, Mother Nature serves up the perfect conditions for massive growth. Just like dim, cool, dry weather can slow growth, things like too much rain and sun can stress plants into growing bigger and taller than usual. That has certainly been the case for the 2019 growing season throughout much of Canada.
What if the weather does not seem to be the cause?
- Reduce fertilizers- especially nitrogen: Put simply, Nitrogen is the nutrient responsible for green growth. Excess nitrogen can cause excess green growth and even make vegetable crops so focused on green growth that they neglect to produce vegetables!
- Improve lighting: Plants that are not getting enough sunlight will “reach” for more light and become tall and slim, or “leggy.” Check that you are meeting the minimum light requirements for each individual variety in your garden. Move sun-starved plants to a new location in the garden or trim low-hanging branches of nearby trees to invite more sun.
- Amend soil: If you have not fertilized and the weather does not seem to be the cause, test your soil to determine whether there is a nutrient imbalance. Your local garden centre or nursery can help you choose a soil sample kit and recommend the best products to amend your soil.
Are OSC seeds GMO-free?
OSC does not knowingly buy or sell GMO seeds of any kind.
Is Hybrid the same as GMO?
Genetically Modified Organisms [GMOs] are created by a laboratory process where genes from one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genome of a plant species with which they would normally be incapable of exchanging genes.
Hybrid varieties are created when humans use selective pollination to cross different varieties and species. Hybridization occurs naturally (cross-pollination) but seeds that are advertised as hybrids were deliberately crossed to express certain traits. Common ones are disease resistance, size, colour, and cold hardiness.
Seeds saved from hybrid plants may revert to the stronger of the “parent” genes, instead of reproducing exactly as they were.
Are OSC seeds treated?
With the exception of a few varieties of corn for commercial growers. We do not offer treated corn for sale on our website. Please contact OSC directly if you are looking for treated corn seed. Our treated corn is coated with a mild fungicide and is clearly-labelled to avoid confusion.
What is the difference between organic and “regular” seeds?
The most important difference between organic and standard seed are the systems that produced them.
In Canada, there is a federally-regulated organic standard.
Canadian organic standards aim to ensure that all aspects of farming are conducted in a way that promotes the overall health of soil, plants, animals, humans, and the planet. Organic practices use a proactive, rather than a reactive approach to farming, minimizing or avoiding expected problems in the farm system. The health of the land is prioritized. Potentially harmful inputs are restricted or forbidden.
Ontario Seed Company is organic in two ways:
Firstly, we have a line of certified organic seed. This means the seed itself is certified organic and has been produced by a certified organic system (yay!)
Secondly, we are a certified organic processor. This qualifies us to package and distribute certified organic seed, ensuring its organic integrity is never compromised.
Look for this logo to be sure Canadian organic standards have been met:
Copies of our organic certificates can be found on our website or by clicking here.
If you believe a brand is making false claims about being organic please contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Read more about what Ontario is doing to improve organic regulation here.