Earn your green thumb this spring by starting your own fruit and vegetable garden

Community Mar 28, 2016 Metroland Media

With the cost of produce fluctuating, many Canadians are looking for new ways to save. Some keep an eye on the flyers and coupons, while others are switching to frozen fruits and vegetables to minimize waste. That said, now that spring is officially upon us, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about planting a fruit and vegetable garden! Not only can you grow fresh produce right in your own backyard, but you can learn something new and have fun doing it!

Seeds or transplants

In Canada we are fortunate to experience all four seasons! That said, the downside to having crisp autumns and cold winters is that our gardening season is much shorter. While some people choose to nurture their plants from seed, others prefer to save time and buy seedlings from the local garden centre. For plants that take longer to grow, it’s impractical to plant a seed directly into the garden. However, if you’re set on it you can start your seeds in pots inside, and then transplant them when the weather is warmer and the frost is gone. Tomato and pepper plants take longer to grow, so plan accordingly.

If you go with seeds, make sure they are quality seeds from a trusted source. When buying plants, look for hearty, healthy looking seedlings.

The perfect planting season ranges from March to May, depending on where you live.

  planting seeds

Shutterstock

 

Location, location, location

If you’re starting from scratch, you need to carve out the bit of land that will become your garden. Vegetable plants typically need six or more hours of direct sunlight to thrive, so find the sunniest spot in your yard and start digging!

The sun is crucial, but so is the earth. Make sure your garden has lots of soft, quality soil so your plants can take root and grow! You may need to make a few trips to the garden centre for top soil, or have some delivered. Advanced gardeners use compost as well to improve the soil quality.

  garden

Shutterstock

 

Room to grow

Whether you start from seeds, or transplants, you need to make sure your little babies have room to grow. When planting make sure you space your plants out enough that they won’t have to compete with each other for sunlight.

  rows of plants

Shutterstock

 

High stakes

If you plant peas, beans, tomatoes, or cucumbers, make sure you stake them using branches, fencing, cages, broken hockey sticks, bamboo poles, or even ski poles!

  tomatoes

Shutterstock

 

Weed and water as needed

The rain will do a good job of watering your garden for you, but on dry, hot days in the summer you will need to stick to a steady watering schedule. When watering, try to water the soil that surrounds the plants, without soaking the plants themselves.

When it comes to weeding, take the time to hand pull, or hoe weeds before they get too big.

  watering the garden

Shutterstock

 

Tools of the trade

Gardening is a pastime/survival method that’s been practiced for centuries, and the tools haven’t changes all that much. If you want to protect your hands, gardening gloves are a lifesaver (you can get an inexpensive pair at the dollar store). Shovels, rakes, spades, trowels, and pitch forks are all common items found in a gardener’s arsenal. If you have an outdoor tap, make sure you have a hose, but either way, you should also have a watering can. You can also purchase a rain barrel as an eco-friendly watering method.

  gardening tools

Shutterstock

 

Don’t have a yard? It’s okay

Many apartment dwellers and condo owners can still have a fruit and vegetable garden, just on a smaller scale. Using pots and planters you can make a balcony veggie and herb garden. You may not yield as many crops as someone with a full-sized garden, but you can still take pride in your accomplishment. Don’t have a balcony? Many communities offer garden plots for rent. Use your plot to grow fruit and vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Do a quick Google search to learn more about community gardens in your area.

  window box

Shutterstock

 

Enjoy the fruits of your labour

While raking, digging, watering, and weeding might feel like hard work, it will all feel worthwhile when you harvest your first crop! Enjoy fresh strawberries, beans, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, rhubarb, and more! Bake pies, make sauce, eat them fresh off the vine – whatever you want to do with your homegrown produce! Share it with friends, feed your family, save some money, and learn some valuable life lessons!

  harvesting garden

Shutterstock

 

Originally published on Save.ca March 24, 2016.

Earn your green thumb this spring by starting your own fruit and vegetable garden

Community Mar 28, 2016 Metroland Media

With the cost of produce fluctuating, many Canadians are looking for new ways to save. Some keep an eye on the flyers and coupons, while others are switching to frozen fruits and vegetables to minimize waste. That said, now that spring is officially upon us, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about planting a fruit and vegetable garden! Not only can you grow fresh produce right in your own backyard, but you can learn something new and have fun doing it!

Seeds or transplants

In Canada we are fortunate to experience all four seasons! That said, the downside to having crisp autumns and cold winters is that our gardening season is much shorter. While some people choose to nurture their plants from seed, others prefer to save time and buy seedlings from the local garden centre. For plants that take longer to grow, it’s impractical to plant a seed directly into the garden. However, if you’re set on it you can start your seeds in pots inside, and then transplant them when the weather is warmer and the frost is gone. Tomato and pepper plants take longer to grow, so plan accordingly.

If you go with seeds, make sure they are quality seeds from a trusted source. When buying plants, look for hearty, healthy looking seedlings.

The perfect planting season ranges from March to May, depending on where you live.

  planting seeds

Shutterstock

 

Location, location, location

If you’re starting from scratch, you need to carve out the bit of land that will become your garden. Vegetable plants typically need six or more hours of direct sunlight to thrive, so find the sunniest spot in your yard and start digging!

The sun is crucial, but so is the earth. Make sure your garden has lots of soft, quality soil so your plants can take root and grow! You may need to make a few trips to the garden centre for top soil, or have some delivered. Advanced gardeners use compost as well to improve the soil quality.

  garden

Shutterstock

 

Room to grow

Whether you start from seeds, or transplants, you need to make sure your little babies have room to grow. When planting make sure you space your plants out enough that they won’t have to compete with each other for sunlight.

  rows of plants

Shutterstock

 

High stakes

If you plant peas, beans, tomatoes, or cucumbers, make sure you stake them using branches, fencing, cages, broken hockey sticks, bamboo poles, or even ski poles!

  tomatoes

Shutterstock

 

Weed and water as needed

The rain will do a good job of watering your garden for you, but on dry, hot days in the summer you will need to stick to a steady watering schedule. When watering, try to water the soil that surrounds the plants, without soaking the plants themselves.

When it comes to weeding, take the time to hand pull, or hoe weeds before they get too big.

  watering the garden

Shutterstock

 

Tools of the trade

Gardening is a pastime/survival method that’s been practiced for centuries, and the tools haven’t changes all that much. If you want to protect your hands, gardening gloves are a lifesaver (you can get an inexpensive pair at the dollar store). Shovels, rakes, spades, trowels, and pitch forks are all common items found in a gardener’s arsenal. If you have an outdoor tap, make sure you have a hose, but either way, you should also have a watering can. You can also purchase a rain barrel as an eco-friendly watering method.

  gardening tools

Shutterstock

 

Don’t have a yard? It’s okay

Many apartment dwellers and condo owners can still have a fruit and vegetable garden, just on a smaller scale. Using pots and planters you can make a balcony veggie and herb garden. You may not yield as many crops as someone with a full-sized garden, but you can still take pride in your accomplishment. Don’t have a balcony? Many communities offer garden plots for rent. Use your plot to grow fruit and vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Do a quick Google search to learn more about community gardens in your area.

  window box

Shutterstock

 

Enjoy the fruits of your labour

While raking, digging, watering, and weeding might feel like hard work, it will all feel worthwhile when you harvest your first crop! Enjoy fresh strawberries, beans, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, rhubarb, and more! Bake pies, make sauce, eat them fresh off the vine – whatever you want to do with your homegrown produce! Share it with friends, feed your family, save some money, and learn some valuable life lessons!

  harvesting garden

Shutterstock

 

Originally published on Save.ca March 24, 2016.

Earn your green thumb this spring by starting your own fruit and vegetable garden

Community Mar 28, 2016 Metroland Media

With the cost of produce fluctuating, many Canadians are looking for new ways to save. Some keep an eye on the flyers and coupons, while others are switching to frozen fruits and vegetables to minimize waste. That said, now that spring is officially upon us, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about planting a fruit and vegetable garden! Not only can you grow fresh produce right in your own backyard, but you can learn something new and have fun doing it!

Seeds or transplants

In Canada we are fortunate to experience all four seasons! That said, the downside to having crisp autumns and cold winters is that our gardening season is much shorter. While some people choose to nurture their plants from seed, others prefer to save time and buy seedlings from the local garden centre. For plants that take longer to grow, it’s impractical to plant a seed directly into the garden. However, if you’re set on it you can start your seeds in pots inside, and then transplant them when the weather is warmer and the frost is gone. Tomato and pepper plants take longer to grow, so plan accordingly.

If you go with seeds, make sure they are quality seeds from a trusted source. When buying plants, look for hearty, healthy looking seedlings.

The perfect planting season ranges from March to May, depending on where you live.

  planting seeds

Shutterstock

 

Location, location, location

If you’re starting from scratch, you need to carve out the bit of land that will become your garden. Vegetable plants typically need six or more hours of direct sunlight to thrive, so find the sunniest spot in your yard and start digging!

The sun is crucial, but so is the earth. Make sure your garden has lots of soft, quality soil so your plants can take root and grow! You may need to make a few trips to the garden centre for top soil, or have some delivered. Advanced gardeners use compost as well to improve the soil quality.

  garden

Shutterstock

 

Room to grow

Whether you start from seeds, or transplants, you need to make sure your little babies have room to grow. When planting make sure you space your plants out enough that they won’t have to compete with each other for sunlight.

  rows of plants

Shutterstock

 

High stakes

If you plant peas, beans, tomatoes, or cucumbers, make sure you stake them using branches, fencing, cages, broken hockey sticks, bamboo poles, or even ski poles!

  tomatoes

Shutterstock

 

Weed and water as needed

The rain will do a good job of watering your garden for you, but on dry, hot days in the summer you will need to stick to a steady watering schedule. When watering, try to water the soil that surrounds the plants, without soaking the plants themselves.

When it comes to weeding, take the time to hand pull, or hoe weeds before they get too big.

  watering the garden

Shutterstock

 

Tools of the trade

Gardening is a pastime/survival method that’s been practiced for centuries, and the tools haven’t changes all that much. If you want to protect your hands, gardening gloves are a lifesaver (you can get an inexpensive pair at the dollar store). Shovels, rakes, spades, trowels, and pitch forks are all common items found in a gardener’s arsenal. If you have an outdoor tap, make sure you have a hose, but either way, you should also have a watering can. You can also purchase a rain barrel as an eco-friendly watering method.

  gardening tools

Shutterstock

 

Don’t have a yard? It’s okay

Many apartment dwellers and condo owners can still have a fruit and vegetable garden, just on a smaller scale. Using pots and planters you can make a balcony veggie and herb garden. You may not yield as many crops as someone with a full-sized garden, but you can still take pride in your accomplishment. Don’t have a balcony? Many communities offer garden plots for rent. Use your plot to grow fruit and vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Do a quick Google search to learn more about community gardens in your area.

  window box

Shutterstock

 

Enjoy the fruits of your labour

While raking, digging, watering, and weeding might feel like hard work, it will all feel worthwhile when you harvest your first crop! Enjoy fresh strawberries, beans, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, rhubarb, and more! Bake pies, make sauce, eat them fresh off the vine – whatever you want to do with your homegrown produce! Share it with friends, feed your family, save some money, and learn some valuable life lessons!

  harvesting garden

Shutterstock

 

Originally published on Save.ca March 24, 2016.