Vegetable gardens are something we will all eventually dabble with, but like our critically timed morning routines, it takes time to actually master. I’m sure we can all relate to trying to grow things as children (a cherry tree from a pit comes to mind) only to be disappointed with the results. As an adult it is easier, but it certainly takes patience, planning and hard work; things we weren’t willing to put into the mythical cherry tree as a kid. Keeping those things in mind, round two of your vegetable garden can be a huge success as long as you take these things into consideration before diving in head first.
Consider what type of space and time commitment you can dedicate to your vegetable garden before you start. If this is going to be your first ever vegetable garden, we recommend you start small and consider going with a raised garden bed (which are easier to maintain!). If you’re trying to get enough out for one summer, a good rule of thumb is that a garden about 16 x 10 feet can feed a family of four with a little left over for sharing or canning.
Second to figuring out your garden space, you’ll want to considering the very basics of where to put your vegetable beds.
What type of sun does your potential garden get: full sun, half sun or shade? It’s not uncommon for vegetable gardens to require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The more sunlight, the better the harvest, taste and size!
Does your space have protection from winds, heavy rain and frost? Picking a spot that’s prone to flooding is not a good start, nor do you want high winds knocking over your precious plants before they’ve had a chance to grow.
Does it have easy access to a watering source? The last thing you want to do is lug gallons of water around the yard in a hot, Squamish summer. Ensuring you have a hose close by will make for a much easier start to your vegetable garden.
Soil + Planting Times
You wouldn’t build a house without a sturdy foundation first, and the same goes for your vegetable garden. Ensuring your beds have proper drainage and will stay intact is a great place to start. We recommend using our 1″ Clear Crush as a drainage rock at the bottom of your beds, and then a layer of landscape fabric to help prevent the soil from washing away and ensure you don’t spend your entire summer weeding.
Next, you’ll want to choose a soil that allows the plants roots to penetrate easily and allows water to reach down the entire root. We recommend our Organic Garden Blend which is a certified organic product composed of your green bin waste, making it high in nutrients. We then blend it with a washed sand to create a 40% sand to 60% soil mix so it’s easier to work with and grow in.
Pick your Vegetables
Again, if this is your first time starting a vegetable garden, we suggest you set yourself up for success and start small. These are the top ten vegetables to start with:
- Zucchini Squash
- Bush Beans
Plus, Marigolds (which can help add some colour and discourage pests).
Before you dive in and get started, make sure you consider the space each vegetable will need and take into consideration that some can tower over others, creating shade and hindering the growth of their fellow bed-mates; the same goes when plants are too close together and need to compete for sunlight and water consumption. It is always a good idea to make sure you go with high-quality seeds from the start to avoid frustration. Make sure to read the packages to ensure you’re planting them at the right times and providing them with enough water – using a spreadsheet is a great way to keep track of this if needed.
Growing vegetables takes time, lots of it. We’re not just talking about once a week for watering, we’re talking about a full-blown commitment somewhat like having a dog. Only instead of walks, it needs weeding along with all the other basic essentials: food, water, a good home, patience, time and of course, lots and lots of love.
Time to Get Started!
If you’ve ticked all the boxes and want to get your garden started right, come by the Landscape Depot and we’ll make sure you’ve got the right soil for what you’re planting. We sell soil in yards, half yards or per pail (also know as ‘Bring your Own Pail’). If you’re looking for a large amount or would rather get it delivered too you, we can do that also. Check out our Delivery options.
Call us at 604-898-5015