So, you want your own vegetable garden, but don’t know where to start? Luckily, we know some easy veggies to grow, and when they should be grown.
Here’s some information so you can start thinking through menus for your summer dinner parties to feature the delicious, nutritious and savoury goodness to come from your garden this summer.
What You Need
Fortunately, Toronto summers are generally sunny because the number one ingredient for your vegetables to grow is 6 – 8 hours per day of sunshine. We will select an area for maximum sunshine and use soil perfectly suited for vegetables, especially root vegetables that can be turned easily and quickly. Lawrence Park Complete Garden Care will also provide an excellent watering system since your vegetables require daily watering.
What You Can Plant
You can grow just about any vegetable that you like to eat. The easiest veggies to grow are ones that don’t require a lot of work throughout the growing season, and will likely be productive all summer, even when you aren’t, like:
- Lettuces: you can do successive sowings every two weeks or so, giving you harvests all summer long. Buttercrunch and arugula are delicious varieties.
- Chard: they are always worth growing because they provide greens all summer, are resilient and more weather proof than spinach and more tender than kale. And they are beautiful plants.
- Carrots: they aren’t the prettiest of the bunch, but they grow easily, and grow well with radishes in the same row.
- Cucumbers: They can grow in most gardens. They can also spread out, so try the mini varieties to save space, if need be.
- Green or yellow beans: Beans like warm soil. Choose a variety that doesn’t need a trellis if you want an easier bean to grow.
Keep in mind, however, that you will want to grow veggies in particular places in your garden. For example even if you are exceedingly passionate about one particular veggie, growing a large patch of one kind is more likely to attract pests. And, like humans, not every vegetable will like just any neighbor. Carrots and celery get along with all the other vegetables. But corn and tomatoes, not so much.
When to Plant Your Veggies
You plant your vegetables either before, or after, the last frost of spring; or, the first frost of fall. A well-honoured Southern Ontario tradition is not to break ground until the Victoria long weekend to be sure that the first frost has gone. Many almanacs show, however, that Toronto is usually frost free in late April, not late May.
The frost issue is particularly important if you are growing veggies like eggplant or tomatoes. If you do plant them earlier than late May keep an eye on the weather forecast: on cold nights, you will need to cover them up. Green peas plant about 5 -7 weeks before last frost, lettuce seeds 2-3 weeks before, and just after the last frost, get your green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumber seeds in the ground because they don’t like the cold.
Ready to start eating VERY local? Contact Lawrence Park Garden Care.