Spring into Action
April is the second month of spring, and for Canadians it is a good month to start planning for the spring planting. Make this is the year you start a veggie patch!
Let’s Keep it Simple
Thinking about where to get started? Start small, and give “square-foot gardening” a try. All you need is an area of about 2x3 metres — that’s more than enough to get started.
First step is to choose your location, and this comes down to the soil, and the light/shade. You might have to do some exploring with your spade to find a spot that has good soil. You’re looking for dark crumbly textured soil that is rock free.
If you discover rocky, sandy or hard pan clay, then you’ll need to look into building up your soil. Try looking online, or in your neighbourhood for some free soil. You can also make a trip to your local garden store and buy a good garden blend — the Original SEA SOIL™ products are a good choice.
Choose a spot that has at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. An ideal spot isn’t going to be surrounded by big trees or neighbouring buildings. If you’re blessed to be south facing then align your garden running east to west. This helps to ensure even distribution of sun.
Tip: Tall plants (pole beans, tomatoes, peas) go north of shorter plants (basil, bush beans, zucchini), and leafy greens (kale, lettuce, spinach) can tolerate some shade because they prefer cooler weather.
If this is your first time gardening then starting small is the right approach. Find info online at almanac.com/square-foot-gardening or go to the library or your local gardening centre and get a Square Foot Gardening guide. Square foot gardening is an ideal way to start growing for beginners. It approaches planting a garden by focusing on a small area (one foot at a time). It’s a system that actually provides high yields and is super easy to do!
Pro tip: April is the month to sow arugula (or rocket), broad beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, leeks, lettuce, peas, radish, spinach, and swiss chard.