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Grow Vegetables in Niagara, Prep Now

Grow Vegetables in Niagara, Prep Now

There’s something very appealing about knowing exactly where your food comes from. Start by getting yourself organized early. Below there are 8 steps to help you plan the perfect vegetable garden this spring.

1. Decide what it is you want to eat. Have each family member suggest a favourite. Make a list of seeds and plants you will need in spring.

2. Determine the best time to get your plants into the ground. In Niagara last frost is typically mid-May. Tender plants like peppers and tomatoes must be planted later than this while hardier varieties can go in earlier. Note these planting times on your list. Familiarize yourself with how long it will take to transform seeds to food. The backs of seed packages will have this information. For example Carrots need 65-75 days to mature so carrots seeded late April will be ready to start harvesting in mid-July. Many vegetables can also be bought as young plants. While the cost is higher, the time to harvest is less.

3. Sketch a layout of your ideal garden plot. Start small, especially if it’s your first vegetable garden. You can always enlarge the garden or plant successive crops to extend your harvest season.

4. Garden location is as important as size. Do your growing in a place that gets a full day’s sun or, at minimum, six hours. It also should be sheltered from the wind and within reach of a hose.

Read another article on growing your own vegetable harvest

5. Add a 20 cm layer of good soil to the bed. Use topsoil or triple mix, add a little manure or choose a commercially prepared soil with slow release fertilizer added. Vegetables can also be grown in raised beds or in containers.

6. Read the directions carefully on seed packets or seedlings about how closely plants should be spaced. Leaf lettuce can withstand some crowding. Tomatoes need about 60 centimetres between the hills. Pumpkins require about 120 centimetres.

Salad greens, summer squash, onions, sweet peppers, carrots, radishes, zucchini, peas, green beans and tomatoes – particularly cherry tomatoes – are among the easiest vegetables to grow.

Learn to grow tomatoes like a pro

8. Keep notes on what you did and how well, (or not) it worked.

Once the growing season is in full swing, keep an eye out for diseases and pests that can destroy your crop. Walking the garden once a day is not only good for your health, but good for the garden because problems are easiest to deal with if they are spotted early.

Cheers to a feastful harvest!