We absolutely adore our local farmer’s markets in Calgary but our vegetable garden is one of the most rewarding jobs (aside from parenting and renovating) that we enjoy doing in the summer. It’s an inexpensive project that brings in healthy and safe edibles for our family. Last year we harvested so much basil, we were able to freeze the herbs and enjoy them throughout the winter months. Ofcourse, there are things to know before you start digging up your yard so we’ve gathered some of our favourite gardening tips to help you grow a successful vegetable garden this summer.
- If you’re a beginning in vegetable gardening we recommend choosing veggies that are easy to maintain and grow. Some of the best choices for beginners are tomatoes, lettuce sugar snap peas, basil, thyme and summer squash. We’re attempting to grow asparagus this year which we’ve heard can be difficult. Fingers crossed!
- Location. Location. Location! You will need to determine how much space you will need and choose the perfect spot for your garden. You don’t want to start a garden that receives no direct sunlight during daylight hours.
- If your garden has not been planted in before then your first year of vegetables should do well. In the next gardening years to follow, its best to prep the soil by adding organic matter as needed.
- Always ensure your garden has proper soil drainage. You can test the drainage by soaking the soil with a hose for approximately 30 minutes then wait one day and dig up a handful of the soil. If waters seeps out of your hand when you squeeze the soil then you’ll want to add an additional compost or organic matter to improve the drainage.
- You can start your vegetable garden early by planting seedlings and keeping them indoors. We currently have started growing tomatoes, lettuce carrots, green onions, asparagus, green beans and various herbs.
- Once the seedlings start growing you will need to transplant them into larger individual pots until they are ready for the outdoor garden. These pots can be purchased at your local hardware store or check your local dollar store. We found the same quality of pots there last month.
- Once your vegetables have been transplanted outside into the garden its important to continue to maintain the veggies throughout the summer. The green rule of thumb is if the top first inch of soil is dry then you should water your garden. Raised garden beds like the ones we built this year will need more water then in-ground crops. Best time to water your garden is first thing in the morning or at the end of the day in the evening.
Happy Gardening! We can’t wait to see our harvest this year in our newly built raised garden beds.