The good weather is coming, and who says good weather, says vegetable garden! If you've ever thought about starting one, then now is a good time to do it.
Many garden centers have reopened, so take the opportunity to start a garden while buying local. The steps below will walk you through creating it.
Determine the location by considering that your plants should have a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight per day. Choose a land that is flat enough for the water to drain properly, and away from trees so that their long roots do not invade your vegetable garden. If you have water nearby, it makes watering easier.
In a box or not?
There are three main methods for organizing your green space.
In the ground
The first method is to turn the soil up to about 30 cm deep. This traditional vegetable garden requires a good quality of soil and is likely to be cluttered with weeds, which increases the level of difficulty.
Partial box without bottom
You have to start by mowing the grass, then spreading newspaper (about ten sheets of thickness) or unwaxed cardboard over the desired area to smother the plants that grew there. Then, we frame the vegetable garden with boards and put a layer of soil of at least 30 cm. Make sure you have a weed-free perimeter using newspaper and mulch. This technique makes it possible to choose the quality of the soil, to limit harmful vegetation and to obtain good drainage.
Complete box with bottom
The box is made of wood or cement blocks, making sure that it is more than 30 cm deep. Fill the bottom with a 10 to 15 cm layer of rock for drainage, then lay the earth on top. This method is generally recommended for a budding gardener because it is easy to perform and gives good results no matter the terrain. The raised box protects better from the cold, it retains sufficient water and it prevents erosion as well as weeds.
Use good soil precisely for the vegetables, and not black soil, which is not made for this. Enrich it with compost if possible.
What to plant and when
Knowing the hardiness zone you are in is helpful in knowing which plants are suited to the climate in your area. These zones are determined by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and you can easily find yours on gardening sites.
Be sure to plant after the last risk of frost in your area. If you buy local seeds, don't hesitate to ask the clerks, who know your climate, for advice. In Quebec, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and carrots are often good choices. Finally, the plants should be quite far from each other.
Having a garden is a project that will keep you busy on a daily basis, as you will need to water every day, preferably in the morning. Install stakes early on for tomatoes and other vines. It is also advisable to ward off insects with fragrant flowers like lavender and add mulch when your vegetables have grown enough.