Submitted by Sharleen Crosby
Apsley Home Hardware Garden Centre

Spring…just what everyone wants to hear this time of year!

Time to start thinking about planning your garden. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or it’s your first time, it’s a wonder to behold. From the first seed planted to the first sprout coming up out of the ground to harvesting your own vegetables and enjoying them at your dinner table, there is nothing like homegrown!

There are a few basics to having a fruitful garden. A nutrient rich soil is the best place to start, a sunny location, an available water source (rain water being the best choice) and a willingness to try, try and try again. Learning what grows best for you is half the battle. It’s certainly not foolproof.

Depending on what you are planting, some seeds such as tomatoes and peppers start as early as mid February to early March. I know what you’re thinking, that it’s just around the corner, what better way to while away the last few months of winter! Pro Mix is an excellent base to get things started. If you don’t have the space to start your own seeds come late May, you can find many different seedlings at your local Garden Centre to put right in the ground. A good rule of thumb is to not plant the same thing in the same place each year. Rotating your garden is very beneficial to your plants.

Gardening requires a certain amount of dedication, like all good things. You need to feed, weed and water on a regular basis to have a successful garden, something my husband has trouble with…weeding. Don’t get me wrong, he has good intentions in the beginning but like most of us, come August you can’t find the garden for the weeds! A good going over once a week should do the tick. That’s our deal though, he looks after the veggie garden and I look after the flower gardens. I got the better end of the bargain as far as I’m concerned, I weed once or twice a season and add some new soil and fertilizer. A good layer of mulch is your best friend, it helps to keep down the weeds and retains the moisture for the hot days of summer while protecting your plants from the cold days of winter.

FYI: If you are going to plant perennials, shrubs, and such, you want to make sure you pick a Zone 4 for our area. You can get away with some Zone 5’s too if you do your mulching to protect the plant over the winter months.

What’s most important is you enjoy yourself. It is a great way to relieve stress and spend some quality time outdoors. Until next time, Happy Gardening!