Why should you do it?
Planting and growing your own vegetables is good for:
- Your body
Is there anything healthier than fresh, home-grown vegetables? Plus, planting and working on a vegetable garden is a great source of exercise
- Your mind
You’ll feel peaceful – and proud – as you design and tend to your vegetable garden and watch as seeds turn into delicious vegetables.
- Your wallet
Keep more of your money in your pocket as you avoid going to the grocery store (and saving on the cost of gas, too) and paying high vegetable prices.
If you’re new to vegetable gardening, you’re in luck. With some proper planning – before you mix it up in the soil – it isn’t difficult to get started.
1. Choosing the right spot for your garden
Your home vegetable garden should be in a spot which gets at least six-to-eight of sun each day.
Before you begin planting, you should spend a nice sunny day watching the sun and shade patterns in your yard.
Some things to note:
- Peak sun position: The sun is usually highest in the sky in late June
- Shady days: Early and late summer days tend to be shadier (depending on the trees in your yard)
- Find a level place: Vegetable gardening in a hill or slope is much more challenging than doing so in a flat location
2. Is bigger better when it comes to a vegetable garden?
When you’re first starting with a vegetable garden, don’t bite off more than you can chew (save that for enjoying the delicious vegetables you’re about to grow).
Smaller gardens are much easier to manage in the first year.
And if you find vegetable gardening exceptionally easy and/or enjoyable, you can always make your garden larger next year.
A good size to start is with a 10’x10’ space. In fact, a garden that size can produce a fair amount of food if it’s carefully tended to.
The rows should be anywhere from two to four feet wide with walking paths on either side.
3. Get the soil ready
Triple mix soil is probably the single most important ingredient in any successful vegetable garden.
Here’s how to prepare the soil properly:
- Dig into your existing soil to a depth of at least eight inches (or more, if possible)
- Collect lots of composted manure or topsoil that’s full of vital organic matter
- Mix the new manure or soil completely with your existing soil
Building raised beds? If so, then you may need additional soil bags delivered to your home.
4. Choosing what to plant
Compared to other countries, Canada has a very short growing season. So it’s important to take advantage of it by planting vegetables which will grow relatively quickly.
Once you have the hang of vegetable gardening, you should be able to plant a second harvest of spring vegetables – or even extend your growing season by properly deploying some row cover cloth.
Starting in late April, you can plant cool weather veggies like:
Warm weather vegetables can be planted in June:
5. After you’ve planted
Once you’ve planted your vegetable seeds, you need to add the final ingredients, which are:
- Mulch: A thick layer of mulch will keep the soil moist and will add organic matter to it over time.
- Water: Of course, your seeds need water, but as your vegetable plants get bigger, you can cut back on how much you water them.
You’re ready to start & we’re ready to help
Part of the fun of vegetable gardening in Canada is that things can always change – depending on the weather.
You never know what to expect. But with good soil, water and help from Van Beek’s Garden Supplies, you can enjoy fresh vegetables throughout the summer.