Garden Tips for 2019

Hello fellow gardeners,

We were teased with the promise of an early spring, but February's blizzards sure put a damper on that. But blizzards in March? Let's hope not.

Here are a few updates for spring, as well as some handy resources:

APRIL MEET-AND-GREET

Look out for an email in April with details about our first ever garden meet-and-greet. This will be an opportunity to meet your fellow gardeners, plant your first seeds and pay your 2019 garden fee if you’ve not done so already.

WATERING SYSTEM

We will be installing the watering system and garden hoses once the threat of freezing temperatures subsides, some time in early April. We're a ways off from needing to water our plants, but the hoses can be handy for washing hands and hand tools and watering in those first seeds and starts.

Look for more info about operating the hoses and watering system in our April email.

GARDEN TIPS: PLANNING YOUR GARDEN

Here are 5 things to consider when planning what to plant this spring.

1. Plant what you love to eat. There's no point seeding carrots if you're more of a beet fan!
 
2. Community gardens do unfortunately experience garden theft, and some crops are more susceptible than others. Tomatoes, peppers, gourds (like zucchini, squash, cucumber) and eggplant are often easier targets compared to salad greens, kale, chard, herbs and subterranean veggies like radishes, carrots and beets. Think about it this way: the more colourful your veg, the greater the risk it will be stolen.

3. Give your seeds and starts room at the beginning. You want to make sure they have room to grow (up, down, sideways) as the season warms. Packing everything in may seem economical, but overcrowding will actually hinder the growth and health of your crops.

4. Consider diversity: "mono-cropping" kale is a good idea, in theory, if you love kale, but what happens when the aphids appear in June and start decimating your sole crop? Companion planting charts like this one show you which plants compliment and protect one another from common garden pests. Flowers and herbs also do great things in a veg garden, including attracting pollinators, repelling pests and adding colour and zest to your garden.

5. Consider the sun. Some plants grow tall (peas, tomatoes, kale), while others (lettuces, radish, beets) rarely grow above eight inches. You want to make sure you don't plant a row of peas along the southern edge of your raised garden bed where they'll grow four feet tall and cast a shadow over your bed for the entirety of June. Similarly, some plants prefer direct sunlight, while others prefer shady conditions, which a little directional planning can assist.