While a guide to a good garden can vary with the space you’re working with, Salmon Arm’s Christine Brandt has a few tips to get you started!
“First and foremost, I always suggest determining what kind of garden you’d like to grow – do you want a vegetable garden or would you prefer to plant some flowers? The answer to that then determines your next steps,” explains Christine, from Canadian Tire’s Garden Centre.
If you’re considering a vegetable garden and are starting from scratch, Christine recommends beginning with a good top soil. Contrary to what the name depicts, top soil doesn’t actually go on top of your garden, but instead acts as the foundation.
Now, think lasagne and start layering. On top of the top soil, layer your garden soil, then mix additional elements to help with nutrition and moisture, such as peat moss or compost. Following these steps ensures your plants have a good start from the moment they’re in the ground, Christine says.
When it comes to planting your vegetables, it’s important to understand the difference between growing from seed and transplanting them into your garden. Christine recommends putting peas and carrots, for example, right into the dirt, while for tomatoes, spaghetti squash, zucchini and cucumber, it’s best to purchase these plants with an already established root system to help them grow best.
And remember not to plant outside too soon. You always want to wait until the last frost of the season before bringing plants outdoors. While the weather has been warming, the temperature still drops at night – which can really harm your plants!
“If you’re still seeing frost in the morning, you’ll want to wait until it’s completely gone before you start you’re planting, or else it can kill your plants in just one night,” Christine says.
You can still purchase your plants in the meantime, it’s just best to keep them inside and warm for the time being. With myriad pots and planters at Canadian Tire, you’ll be sure to find something to fit your space – whether indoors or outdoors.
If you’re considering flowers for your garden this spring, Christine offers geraniums, marigolds or even pansies as easy-to-care-for options. And, since they flower throughout the growing season, you’ll get a lot of bloom for the buck!
Lastly, it’s important to remember that just like us, what we feed our plants affects their health.
While some garden soils come with a nutritional boost built in, you can also purchase plant food. There’s a lot of variety out there because all plants have different needs. Fortunately, there’s also all-purpose plant food, with Miracle Grow Shake and Feed being a favourite. Then, as you become a more seasoned gardener, you can expand and fine-tune your choices.