So it hasnt been too nice lately despite the last frost date supposedly being May 6. Last year I was really keen to plant cool season veggies, but this year I held off. I didn’t have the greatest success planting in the first week of April last year, so this year I held off a little longer. But today, I planted an entire bed of cool season veggies, so the outdoor veggie season has officially started! Here is a link to my plan for the back veggie garden, which has dappled shade in the summer. I typically plant cool season veggies here, so that when it does warm up, the plants don’t bolt and go to seed. Last year the Swiss chard worked out well for me, but I didn’t have much luck with the spinach or peas. This year I am planting swiss chard again as well as the spinach (we still have lots of spinach seeds left over), and I am also trying some Astro Arugula and some kale that we got from our friend Patricia (the kale seeds came from her dad’s garden in BC, which is particularly exciting!). This year I bought a different type of pea, sugar snap, at the seedy saturday seed exchange. The vines are supposed to grow up to 2m, so I am hoping that they will be happy right up against the chain link fence. Hopefully we have more sucess with the vine type of pea as opposed to the bush variety 🙂
We have three garden beds total, and the other two haven’t been planted yet. This year, Brian and I are having a mini competition of sorts. Brian was constantly informing me how he would do things differently, so I decided a challenge was in order. Since we still want to have as much variety in vegetables as possible, we agreed that it wasnt necessary to plant exactly the same vegetables. We did up a handy seed chart and went through the list to determine what veggies (and how many) would go in each garden. I think I am the most excited about the tomatoes, and I am planning to have 3 different varieties in my garden. Brian found some interesting ground cherry seeds, so those will go in his garden. I will have the fence to support my climbing plants, and Brian will have the obliesque trellis to support his climbers. So we will have to see who has the most exciting crops and the most visually appealing garden! We’ll have to have friends over to vote during the growing season:)
And here is the spreadsheet of all the veggies we plan to grow this year.
I just realized that I forgot to mention the boring (labour intensive) part. To ensure our veggie growing success, we amended the soil in each of the garden beds by adding two bags of composted manure and one part peat moss. We also had left mulched up leaves on the beds over winter to decompose and also to act as a mulch, so that was stirred in as well. We ended up with quite a few weeds despite the leaf mulch, which I think was due to the manitoba maples depositing these little seed packets all over the yard in March. We will have to remember to cover the garden beds with plastic next year, which besides preventing weeds, should also help the soil to warm up sooner. Oh well, I think I got most of the weeds!
While we were doing that, we also overseeded the lawn. We had a bunch of top soil brought in last year and we tried to completely renovate the lawn. There are still some patchy areas, so hopefully we are able to fill those in. We’ll have to stay off the lawn for a bit now to let it establish, which means no more just opening the back door for Mika to go to the bathroom!