Monday, July 31, 2017

Farmer Bob is still on the air folks!

We hope you've been catching Farmer Bob's weekly updates on ECFM this year.  The Farmer and The Missus are enjoying some well deserved days off of late, but they never forget about the importance of Bees(with an EpiPen near by, of course) for both us and our flowering friends.  Check out the link below!

Farmer Bob & The Bees!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Last Chance for NEMATODES!!

Price List as of June 20, 2017 (last chance to order, limited availability order now.)
West River Greenhouses is taking PRE-PAID ORDERS for the following
Leafcutter Bees Cocoons   25 cocoons $30, 100 cocoons $100
Lady Bugs approximately 100 for $10.00
Lady Bug Lures $12.99 for package of 4 lures
Lady Bug Food $16
Praying Mantis 1 egg case $20
Guardian for Gardens $30/pkg (contains 10 million nematodes)
To place you order please Phone 902-925-2088 and ask to speak to Colleen

The alfalfa leafcutter bee is a solitary bee. Leafcutter bees are important pollinators of many wildflowers. They pollinate fruits and vegetables and are used by commercial growers to pollinate blueberries, onions, carrots and alfalfa.
These bees are ‘cavity nesting’. This means they like to make their nests in ready-made cavities or in soft rotting wood that can be ‘excavated’. Once a suitable spot has been found, they will build cells using the pieces of leaf as lining, by overlapping segments of leaf to make a cylindrical cavity that looks a little like a cigar. Each cell is sealed up with a little segment of leaf. Our bee houses offer reeds as a nesting spots for leafcutter bees.
Leafcutters do not aggressively defend nesting areas like honey or bumble bees. Their sting has been described as far less painful than that of a honey bee. Leafcutter bees will only sting if handled and therefore are not a stinging danger to people.
SPECIAL NOTES: This species was introduced to North America from Europe after the drop in alfalfa seed production. The introduction of this bee has dramatically improved the alfalfa seed production.

(General Predator)
Latin name: Hippodamia convergens
Seen on CityLine June, 2010
Outdoor Ladybugs are available from June until fall
These are Native Ladybugs. Excellent for Outdoor use. Outdoor releases of Ladies that have broken hibernation are available from June through September.
Ladybugs are an excellent beneficial insect. Native ladybugs do not bite nor do they go into your home. The only eat aphids and other soft bodied pest insects and insect eggs. Adults are orange and black beetles that feed on aphids, mites, scales, thrips, whiteflies and beneficial insect food. Adult ladies feed primary at night and lay eggs. Eggs are white or yellow ovals and are laid in clusters on the undersides of your leaves. It is the larvae, having no wings that remain on your plants keeping control of pests. Larvae are black and orange alligator shaped. Both the adult and larvae stage are great general pest controllers. Look not for the ladies but to see your pest problems disappear.
Upon receipt place your 'Ladies' in the fridge and release only in the evening. Be sure to water the area before releasing your ladybugs. Placing a small dish of water in your garden will help keep not only ladybugs but native insects close to your plants especially in the heat of the summer.
  • 1,000 Ladybugs covers 50m2. (550ft2)
  • 4,500 covers 275m2 (3,000ft2)
  • 9,000 covers 600m2(6,500ft2)
  • 18,000 covers 1,400m2 (15,000ft2)
  • When you release more ladybugs they will cover a bigger area, through dispersion.
  • Must be refrigerated until released.
SPECIAL NOTES: SPECIAL NOTES: It is not the adult Ladybug that keeps control of aphids. The adult after release will feed on aphids (Adults mainly feed at night) and will lay eggs amongst the aphid colonies. The young larva will hatch and start feeding on aphids. The larva has no wings so are on the plant for two to three weeks keeping you aphids under control. Do not look for the adult Ladies but look to see your pest problem disappear.

Having ladybugs and other beneficial insects in your yard is wonderful, but it can be a challenge to keep them. Using a food source can be a great way to hold on to your beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings and direct them to certain areas of your yard. Ladybugs in particular require a liquid food source when released; it will increase their egg laying and your control.

Ladybug food (Beneficial insect food- BIF) supplies the pollen and nectar sources in addition to the protein they get from eating pest insects. 42.5g (1.5oz) of dry BIF can be mixed with 500ml of water to cover 69m2 (750ft2). BIF can be mixed with less water to create a paste that can be used to feed insects kept in a terrarium.


Helps to attract ladybugs to your gardens.

(Kills Rose Chafer, Rose Midge & Thrips)
Latin name: Steinernema spp. & Heterohabditis bacteriophora
Guardian for Gardens consists of beneficial nematodes that are microscopic worms which are native to Canada. Guardian for Gardens is a mix of two nematodes, one that is close to the surface approximately 3” and one that goes deeper approximately 7”. NIC nematodes are isolated Canadian Strains that are Produced by NIC in Ontario, on a live host. They are fresher, more keyed to Canadian pests and 100% organic.

Canadian Beneficial Nematodes must be applied when flower pests are found in the soil
ROSE CHAFER: Nematodes should be applied in late July after the adults are observed.
ROSE MIDGE: Nematodes should be applied in late fall and again in early spring
THRIPS: Nematodes should be applied weekly throughout the growing season.

100% Safe for people, pets, plants and even earthworms.

  • Shipped on: Sponge on 2 sponges (5 million each).
  • Coverage: 500 ftf2 (46.5 m2)
  • Storage: 8 weeks in refrigeration Please note expiry date!
ROSE CHAFER: Adults are reddish brown, 1/3” beetles with black undersides and wing covers cloaked in thick, yellowish hairs. Larvae: small white grubs found throughout North America, they feed on the roots of grass and weeds. Adults chew on the flowers, leaves and fruit of grapes, roses, tree fruits, brambles, strawberries, peonies, irises, dahlias, hollyhocks and vegetables. Serious damage only with heavy infestation. Larvae overwinter in soil, pupate in spring and emerge as adults in late May to early June. Adults lay eggs in soil until early July, eggs hatch in about 2 weeks, grubs feed on roots until fall.
ROSE MIDGE: are mosquito-like in shape and they are 1-2 mm in length. They emerge from pupae in the soil early in the spring in synchrony with the production of new plant growth and flower buds. There are several overlapping generations per year and a single generation, or life cycle, can be as short as two weeks. Populations of the midge build up until early fall and the last generation overwinters in the ground in cocoons and adult midges emerge the following spring. Females lay their eggs inside the sepals of flower buds or leafy tips. The larvae then hatch from the eggs and damage the buds and rose tips. The full-grown larvae may measure up to 1.8 mm long and are sometimes reddish in color. Pupation usually occurs in the soil but pupae have been observed in the damaged rose tips. They leave the damage tips after which the buds wither, blacken, and die.
THRIPS: Adults are slender, 1/50”-1/25” long insects; colors range from yellowish to brown or black; these fast moving insects leap or fly away on narrow, fringed wings when disturbed. Individual insects difficult to see without a magnifying glass. Adults suck contents of plant cells from a variety of garden plants, flowers, fruits and shade trees. Their feeding leaves silvery speckling or streaks on leaves; severe infestations stunt plants and damage flowers and developing fruit and some species spread tomato spotted wilt virus. Adults overwinter in sod, plant debris, or cracks in bark becoming active in early spring. Eggs are laid in plant tissue and hatch in 3-5 days. Up to 15 generations per year outdoors, may breed continuously in greenhouses.
SPECIAL NOTES: Note: Beneficial nematodes are most effective when soil is moist and remains moist for 3 to 5 days after application. Easy to apply using a hose-end sprayer or watering can and comes with full instructions.

Praying Mantis are general predators that feed on aphids, beetles, caterpillars, chinch bugs, Colorado potato beetles, leafhoppers, hornworms, leafrollers, squash bugs, thrips and whiteflies. They feed on what they can catch! They start off feeding on fruit flies and other tiny insects and as they grow so does their prey as a full grown adult grasshoppers are eaten. Adults are large (up to 10cm/4in.) green or brownish in color with papery wings.

Praying mantis are sent to you as an egg case. Egg cases will not hatch until about mid June when the weather is hot enough and the daylight hours are longer. All will hatch within about 1 hour - they will quickly disperse as they are very cannibalistic and the egg case remains unchanged. Each mantis will set up its own territory where it will live for the summer. They are very difficult to find in the garden because they are well camouflaged. Later in the summer they will fly to find a mate this is often when they are seen. Also as the weather cools they will sit out in the sun to warm themselves.

To witness an egg case hatching, hatch it inside and then release your mantis into your garden.
SHIPPED: As an egg case that may contain 40-400 eggs. Egg cases can take 2 to 8 weeks to start hatching, though once an egg case starts hatching it takes only about 1 to 2 hours.
1 Egg case comes in resealable bag with window for easy hatching in your home with instructions.  
RELEASE RATE: 3 egg cases cover 450m2 (5000ft2) and 10 to 100 egg cases per 1/2 ha.(1 ac.).

You will need: 1 container, it can be an old aquarium or plastic jar, netting to cover the container opening, string or rubber band, a pin, twig and misting bottle.

  • Cut a piece of netting to fit over the opening of your container/jar.
  • Attach the egg case to the twig by either pinning the open end of the mesh tube the egg case is shipped in or by pinning the top part of the egg case on to the twig. It is important to pin the egg case at least 5 cm above the floor of the cage.
  • Put netting over the opening of the jar and secure with rubber band or string.
  • Place container in a warm spot, not directly in the sun.
  • Mist daily, this is very important. You do not want your egg case to dry out.
  • Wait patiently. Check egg case daily.
  • Once hatched enjoy the event, and then let the mantis go in your garden. The mantis can be keep as insect pets or long as you can supply an ongoing food source for them.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

ATTN: A special message to all our friends in and around the Town of Truro!

Below is a recorded message from Farmer Bob and your friends & family at West River Greenhouses, located in Pictou County.  Please take a moment to listen, and don't hesitate to touch base with us via any means so we can help facilitate your growing needs today, tomorrow and further on down the road!

A message for our friends in Truro and the surrounding communities!

Locally, Grown; Naturally Trusted.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Our Story and Promise to YOU!

As local growers we take pride in our superior quality plants nurtured with environmentally responsible products.

Come join the farm experience and let our friendly knowledgeable staff guide you in selecting the ideal mix for your dream garden, big or small.

We offer good value so you can create healthy living spaces for your family and community.

West River Greenhouses is a family owned & operated greenhouse business that has specialized in growing outdoor ornamental plants since 1973. Over 40+ years in the business, the Parkers have continued to emphasize the production of top quality plants with low impact on the environment.

Natural Products
Plants are our passion and the earth is in the package deal. As growers ourselves we have opportunities to purchase large quantities of products that are less harmful to our environment. We believe our customers should have the same options available to them. Through trials of our own we have gathered a collection of products that are less harmful to the environment yet still work well. We can help you select the product you need to compete with the problem you have whether you're in need of:  Pest Control; Soil Amendments; Fertilizers; Weed Control; Disease Control.

We have the products and can advise you on what to do to help turn your problem around and grow the garden you intended. Lets get back into the cultural and physical controls our grandparents used to keep gardens at their best. Planting in the 'right spot', mulching and keeping your plants competitive and healthy will go a long way. Plus, a couple caterpillar holes in your cabbage or a little mildew on your roses isn't a sign your a bad gardener, just that you have a healthy ecosystem.

Custom Designed Containers
Potscaping ~ For a beautiful yet portable and changeable display that can be an easy and low maintenance solution to increase your home or business curb appeal! You can make a big impact with some colourful annuals, perennials and grasses which will require less work than an in-ground garden.

We Custom Plant ~ Choose from our many sized, high quality and professionally cared for planters to make your property pop, or bring us your favourite containers for filling. Our designers will work with you to design planters which meet your personal taste and property requirements.

Tasty Containers ~ Wouldn't it be nice to step out onto your doorstep and pick some fresh tomoatoes right off the vine? Why not try a vegetable planter! Many vegetable plants have been improved to grow delicious veggies on more compact plants to be used in containers. Even plant some veggies among your flowers for a fabulous yet functional display.

Attention Local Businesses ~ Have a business front that needs 'sprucing up' but don't want to re-model? Ask us about our business containers and service packages. We have selected the toughest yet most eye appealing plants to bring customers into your store.

Growing Your Own Food
There is a strong renewal in interest in growing our own food and buying from local farmers. Whether it is from the renewed health consciousness, an increased awareness of our environment or just for the experience, we are here to help you make the baby steps or big leap towards your own personalized vegetable garden.

We aim to have something different or unusual to try because we love gardening and we're just as curious as you! Heirloom, open-pollinated, tried and true and something new, we've got it all.

Berry Plants & Shrubs!  Fruit Trees!  Vegetables Transplants!  Seeds!

A great garden is only as good as the plants and seeds it is started with. Our top quality, locally grown plants are healthy and the selection can't be beat. Our staff can offer advice on soil amendments, pest control, growing and harvesting, even storage to help make your experience a good one!

No matter what colour your thumbs are WE'RE READY TO HELP!

Our plants are grown locally, with passion!

Bright Containers
Hanging Baskets
Showy Annuals & Potted Plants
Vegetable & Herb Transplants
Fruit & Berry Plants
Custom Container Planting
Perennials of all sizes and uses
Roses we know will grow in Pictou County

West River Greenhouses is a proud supporter of alternative, environmentally friendly energy sources.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Special Requests

Spring is just a week away folks, and your friends at West River Greenhouses are hard at it once again getting ready to supply all your gardening needs!

Each year we get all kinds of requests for unique and uncommon items and while we would love to carry everything to meet every shoppers need, reality does settle in.  

We do pride ourselves on having a bountiful selection, but if you are looking for that one special item, this is the time to reach out and let us know!  We are working on our nursery orders and still have room to add special orders for you to pick up when you (and to weather) are ready!

We recommend contacting us directly via telephone to place order requests, as our email is not monitored as frequently during our early growing season.  902-925-2088.  Some requests may require a deposit.  Bob, Colleen or one of the staff will be sure to return you call ASAP to ensure every attempt is made to make your growing season a special one!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Now Hiring for our Production Team: Growers and Caretakers

West River Greenhouses is looking for ambitious individuals with experience and/or training in the area of Greenhouse Production (or a related field), for several positions beginning in March.  

Duties may include but are not limited to: crop monitoring, biological insect control, plant care, shipping, seeding, watering, fertilizing, potting, plant maintenance, etc.

Ideal candidates have a background in plant knowledge/science, ability to work as a team in a fast-paced environment with a willingness to learn. Full-time/seasonal(weather providing).

Must be physically able and a non-smoker. Must have WHMIS and emergency first aid.

Please send resume WITH COVER LETTER highlighting how you see yourself best fitting with our organization by one of the following methods:


Mail:  West River Greenhouses, RR#2 Pictou, NS B0K 1H0

West River Greenhouses, located in Pictou County, is a family owned and operated grower of high quality plants for the home gardener and the landscape trade. Entering our 45th year of business, specializing in providing the gardening public with a full range of ornamental and vegetable plants, all locally grown using natural products and controls.