Winter is finally over; you can come out of hibernation now. The warmer days are here, birds are back to serenade us with charming tunes, and budding branches decorate the trees… Mother Nature is reclaiming what belongs to her; shades of green inundate cities and countrysides. You can already taste the freshness of homegrown cherry tomatoes, pesticide-free lettuce, and straight-from-the-oven strawberry pie. Jump into some airy, comfortable clothing, and get to your balcony, rooftop, or yard to start working on your garden.
The first step is deciding where your fruits and veggies will live. It’s always best to start small. Think quality, not quantity. If your balcony/yard faces South you are in luck.
You may be a little more limited if your gardening space is on the North side, but if you enjoy crisp lettuce, it will work in your favour.
Get to your nearest gardening store to stock up on supplies. Here’s what you will need:
- Containers: pots, bins… We prefer aerating pots made from fabric to improve drainage. Self-watering planters are also a must-try!
- Soil and fertilizer: Choose a rich soil that contains clay, or a special blend for indoor plants. Don’t forget the fertilizer; wondering which one to get? Granular fertilizers are cheaper and easier to use, but they act a little slower than water-soluble powders. For a garden that is 100% organic, we recommend using a natural fertilizer. They release very slowly, however their effect lasts longer. In a nutshell, you’ll want to use fish emulsions, algae liquids, potassium or magnesium sulfates, sodium nitrate or animal byproducts. Another great option is mixing half soil, half compost, if you have access to it.
- Accessories: watering can, trowel, rake, gloves… The amateur green thumb starter-kit.
- Seeds: Start with fruits and vegetables that are easy to plant, like cabbage, beets, strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, or herbs.
Ready. Set. Go!
3. Put your green thumb to work
For the happy owners of a yard, begin by cleaning the terrain, clear away rocks, weeds and invasive plants.
The last step is watering your newly planted seeds abundantly. The soil must always be damp, that’s where the self-watering pots come in handy. You can also invest in a watering spike or opt for a DYI version.
Now, you wait and harvest the goods at the end of the season. Enjoy!
What will you have in your garden this year?
Adapted from French by Jonelle Larouche