Gardening 101 – Home Gardening Tips from an Expert

Home Gardening Tips in Western Canada

Our resident gardening expert and Director of Produce Micky,  gives us his best home gardening tips for starting a garden in a Western Canadian climate. We chat about everything from the type of products to how to take care of them.

Benefits of Gardening:

  • Relaxation
  • Fresh air
  • Exercise
  • Constant learning
  • Improved physical and mental health
  • Growing your own food – it doesn’t get more local than that!
  • Connecting with nature, and where your food comes from!

What grows well in BC and Alberta home gardens?

  • Leafy greens
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Root Vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Onions
  • Herbs
  • Flowers

Best Time to Start Home Garden:

Late Spring (May/June):

Direct Seed – Beans, Corn, Cucumbers, Squash

Transplant -Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant

Early Spring (March/April) 

Direct Seed – Peas, Roots, Onions(sets), Seed Potatoes 

Transplant – Leafs, Brassicas, Asian Veggies

How to improve your soil:

In-ground/raised bed gardening requires good fertile soil, there must be a lot of organic matter such as earthworms, and microorganisms to keep the soil healthy.

Compost: To improve your soil the easy way, add lots of high-quality compost. This helps increase nutrient content, hold moisture and nutrients, and improves the soil structure. Learn more about backyard composting!

Cover Crops: A cover crop is a plant that is used primarily to slow erosion, improve soil health, enhance water availability, smother weeds, and help control pests. Plants that do well as cover crops are legumes, beans, peas, oats, rye, and buckwheat. You can watch these grow through the winter!

home gardening tips

Tips for Home Gardening in Containers:

When gardening in a container, ut is generally recommended to use a soil-less mix. Micky recommends 50% PRO-Mix Organic + 50% High-Quality Compost

Benefits: Potential Challenges:
Complete control of soil/growing medium Plants have limited root space -> choose the right varieties
Mobile – can be moved into the sun or undercover when needed Containers dry out quickly -> lots of attention is needed to keep the soil moisture even
Can be easier to avoid disease/pests Replenishment -> Nutrients can leach out of containers from excess rain and should be replenished frequently
Perfect for small spaces or balconies The container may heat up and damage the roots in hot weather -> Keep the container cool
Less weeding


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