Although it’s still Winter in Winnipeg … why not start your research early! Prepare yourself so when planting season comes around you’re ready to start!
Make sure you have the perfect location to start your vegetable garden. A place where it gets lots of sunlight, has good soil, and a consistent environment. Plants need direct sunlight from 6 to 8 hours. Tomatoes for example need a lot of direct sunlight to grow. Best way to find the best spot for your vegetable garden to get the most sunlight is to map your garden. Section off your garden and take note of which area gets the most sun. A great idea to help your plants get the nutrients it needs naturally is using compost! Using compost allows loose soil to bind together to allow the soil to retain more nutrients and moisture. It’s also a great way to use what you already have in your backyard and don’t have to worry about what you’re going to do with it afterwards. Also make sure that you place it in an area that doesn’t flood from rain or becomes dry easily on a hot and sunny day. Again, this is where mapping comes in handy, it allows you to get to know your yard. It helps you avoid the areas where your plants can be blown over.
It’s always good to start small. Normally people plant vegetable gardens to be about 10 by 10 feet. Start off with vegetables that will yield more than one crop per season. Examples of great plants that you’ll make the most of would be beans, carrots, cabbage and lettuce. A popular bush variety for tomato planting is Cherry Cascade, it requires pretty low maintenance and can be grown from hanging baskets. If you don’t feel confident enough, start off with spring onions and radishes. Super simple to grow them in pots or into the ground! When growing carrots, they prefer light and sandy soils. Having a consistent moisture and soil temperature helps to prevent germination… but, carrots are very resilient and should grow well with proper maintenance.
Always space out your crops. When you have crops that grow closely together, some grow taller than others and then it becomes a competition for sunlight and nutrition. It’s really important to follow the instructions on seed packets! It’s always best to water your crops twice a day. Once in the morning and once at night. Watering it in the morning allows the soil to be cool and the water to reach the roots without the possibility of losing water from evaporation. If you can’t do it early in the morning, you can do it in the late afternoon or evening for the same reason. Only thing to watch out for is to make sure that the leaves are dry before night comes because wet leaves can result in powdery mildew or mold.