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Growing Vegetables in Niagara

Growing Vegetables in Niagara

There’s something very appealing about knowing exactly where your food comes from. Get ahead by starting early.

6 steps to help you plan the perfect vegetable garden this spring:

  1. Decide what it is you want to eat. Get all family members involved! 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. Grow in a place that gets a full day’s sun or, at minimum, six hours. It 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 and 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.

Easiest to Grow:

  • Salad greens
  • Summer squash
  • Onions
  • Sweet peppers
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Zucchini
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Tomatoes (Especially Cherry tomatoes)

Learn to grow tomatoes like a pro

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 great harvest!