If you are planning to plant your own vegetable garden this year, the time to get started is fast approaching. Some seeds can even be planted straight in the soil today.
Whether you are planting a few pots or a large plot, the time to get your garden ready is now!
Get planning: If you don’t have a plan yet, take some time to think about what you would like to plant and do some research into a few planting details, such as plant spacing, whether to direct seed or start seedlings indoors, and when it’s safe to plant outside in your area. If you’re looking for more garden planning guidance, click here.
Clear the decks: Start the season with a fresh canvas by clearing out any plant material leftover from last year. Some plants can harbour diseases and pests so it’s best to get things cleared away as soon as possible. You’ll also want to start dealing with weeds at the smallest stage possible, before they get a strong footing.
Start with soil: Your soil is the basis for everything in the garden and starting with healthy soil will go a long way towards growing strong and healthy veggies. We always recommend doing a soil test so that you know exactly what your soil needs. If you are thinking of doing this, you can send your sample to a lab (we use Agriquanta) and bring your results to Farmer Jo for help with analysis. If you aren’t planning to do a soil test, it’s generally a good idea to add a layer of well-rotted compost to your garden before gently loosening your soil with a garden fork. Click here for a soil forking demo with Farmer Jo.
Go mad for mulch: Keep that soil covered and protected from the elements! Covering your soil with a mulch like organic straw or grass clippings will help to maintain a consistent soil temperature, keep moisture in, limit weeds, and add fertility. Want to try something different? Try a green mulch like we use at the Farm!
Patience grasshopper: While there are plants that are safe to plant out before the temperature is consistently warm (arugula, radish, peas, kale, spinach & lettuce to name a few), many vegetable garden staples should not be planted out before all risk of frost has passed, which is the end of May for the Ottawa area. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, and zucchini can all be either stunted or killed by frosty temperatures, so it’s best to keep them safely indoors until all frost risk has passed.
If you are interested in learning more gardening tips and tricks from Farmer Jo, take a look at our Farmer to Gardener presentations from last year; Seed Starting 101, Garden Planning, and Garden Care.
3rd Annual Seedling Sale
Once you get your garden prepared for the upcoming season, you’ll want to plant it with the very best seedlings to get it off to a good start. Beginning on May 18th the 3rd annual Ottawa Farm Fresh Seedling Sale begins, offering an amazing selection of vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings that are grown right alongside our very own farm seedlings!
During the Seedling Sale you’ll also find a selection of organic gardening supplies in the Farm Store, including;
* 120 seed varieties from Gaia Organic Seeds - click here to see the seed variety list
* Potting Mix
* Organic Fertilisers
* Row Cover
* Insect Netting
* Geotextile Ground Cover
We can’t wait to be part of your garden growing adventures!