So you have decided it is time to feed yourself. You have a little time on your hands and want to make sure you have some food security. It would be lovely to have some food in the freezer or maybe to just eat fresh. What is great about gardening, is that today you can start and try to grow something and next year you can try something different. Start small if you like with some container planters, perhaps a few tomatoes and herbs. You can get bigger and dig a plot in your garden, add some good compost and start planting. Compost is great to add to your garden. Compost enriches soil, improves water holding capacity and suppresses plant diseases and pests. Compost assists the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material.
Here on Prince Edward Island, I recommend planting onions either sets or plants, peas, spinach and lettuce seeds directly into the ground in mid may. Also mid may is a good time to plant cold crops such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage as plants if you can find them at the garden centre. Then every 2 weeks try a few more seeds. By mid June, plant warmer seeds like beans, another row of carrots and beets. Cucumbers and corn like it warmer, so planting these seeds about the third week in June. One can continue to plant until the first of august. Late July, planting will be for the Fall greens. Most people continue planting some seeds until the last week in June to insure a successful season if mother nature throws a curveball.
In late June plant pumpkins, squash, tomato and peppers as plants. Our season is short, so obtaining vegetable plants to add to your garden helps your productivity.
Check the seed package or online to discover how many days the plant takes to get to fruit. Most of the time that is what you are eating. A zucchini takes 35-55 days, a tomato takes 60-100 days depending on the variety to have mature fruit.
Each plant whether it is a house plant, a shrub or a zucchini plant, needs 5 things to thrive. These are sunlight, proper temperature, moisture, air and nutrients. Most of these will be present in a usual garden plot. If you want your garden to be productive it is very important to supply nutrients to your garden with some feed – so it is wise to fertilize your vegetable garden both at planting and again 6 weeks into the growing season. You can consider a 6-12-12 or perhaps an organic option such as Gaia Greene.
This is just the start of edible gardening: stay tuned for more information on fruit trees and bushes, herbs, rhubarb and asparagus.