Weston Seeds Growing Tips
Before planting your garden, get acquainted with the space. Most importantly, how many hours of direct sun does the area get per day? The amount of sunlight will directly influence what you should grow in certain area. Seed packets will usually specify the amount of sun needed and this must be factored into your plans.
Full Sun means 8 or more hours of direct Sunlight per day. Partial Sun means 6-8 hours of direct Sunlight per day. Shade means 4-6 hours of direct Sunlight per day. When you know how much Sun your space has, select varieties that are suited to those conditions. This is an easy way to get yourself set up for success right away!
After you figure out the growing conditions in your garden, it’s time to decide what you’ll be planting. Making a Seed list is loads of fun! There are available resources on garden planning out there, but the most important thing to remember when starting out is to keep it simple at first. Gardening is very rewarding, but there’s a lot to learn and it takes consistent effort. By starting small, you have a better chance of succeeding while building your skillset, instead of getting overwhelmed by the size of the project.
We know a lot of you want to grow food this year! A great way to keep it simple is to start with easy varieties with short growing cycles and/or high yields. Things like Beans, Beets, Lettuce, Chards, Peas, and Radishes are all considered easy garden crops and will have you harvesting early and often all season.
As part of your garden plan, determine which varieties must be started early indoors and get them going on time, such as Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplants, and certain Herbs. Remember, dates are just a guidelines. Mother Nature is calling the shots not the calendar. Watch your local weather and tweak your plans accordingly, if your region is experiencing unseasonably hot or cold weather.
Good soil health is commonly overlooked by new gardeners. Soil as a living thing, it’s the life force of your garden and it must be healthy for good results. Take a trip to your local garden centre or nursery and talk to them about your needs. What are you growing and where? This is especially important if you will be growing in containers, as your crops are limited to the nutrients you provide.
Cheap soil can be contaminated by disease, pests, and weeds. When it comes to soil, buy from a reputable supplier and don’t be reluctant to spend on good Organic soil quality.
Most vegetable crops are considered heavy feeders and draw a lot of nutrients from the soil. To protect your soil from being depleted of nutrients, incorporate compost and well-rotted manure into the soil once or twice a year. Do this by spreading it over the area in spring and fall. You can turn it gently into the soil but it’s not necessary. Rain and soil-dwelling organisms will work together to distribute the nutrients throughout the soil.
Make sure you have easy access to your garden. You should be able to weed and water comfortably, without compacting the soil or damaging your crops. For larger gardens, create designated walkways. Materials like stones, brick, gravel, untreated wood chips, or straw are great for garden paths.
Vegetables are thirsty plants! They need a constant even supply of water. Mother Nature will lend a hand on rainy days, but otherwise your veggies are depending on you. Raised beds and potted plants need water every single day. They might even need to be watered twice a day during long dry spells on hot summer days. In-ground gardens can sometimes go longer between watering but you’ll need to check the soil ever day to assess the moisture level. Allowing crops to dry out even once can be detrimental. This is probably the most important aspect of growing vegetables, especially before plants are mature.
Water deeply! The sun will evaporate moisture at the surface of the soil. Make sure you’re providing a good supply of water right down to the roots. The best time to water is early in the morning, but late afternoon is okay too. Watering mid-day is a waste of time and water because it will evaporate faster than the plants can use it. Avoid watering from above. Instead, water low down at the base of your plants. Watering from above can lead to moisture-related issues and spread infection throughout your crops as the water drips onto nearby plants. Slow moisture evaporation from the soil by covering bare areas in a thin layer of natural mulch. Materials like untreated wood chips, fallen leaves, and straw are great choices. Natural mulches inhibit weed growth and provide shelter for pollinators and other beneficial insects like bees.
Apart from watering, you’ll want to do a daily lap of your garden for signs of trouble. As your crops grow, some will need to be supported. Tomato cages and wooden trellises are perfect. Otherwise, overladen plants will fall over producing misshapen fruit or maybe failing to produce at all.
Monitoring for signs of trouble from pests and disease is essential for catching issues before they spread. Learning how to recognize trouble in early stages is a skill that takes many years to develop. Be patient with yourself. As you learn, don’t hesitate to ask a green-thumbed friend or take photos into your local garden centre or nursery for guidance. You can also email photos to us! Our horticulture team is always happy to take a look. Enjoy the growing process Enjoy your garden, this is the best time! Set up a chair or bench where you can comfortably rest nearby. Spending time outdoors is proven to boost wellbeing. Be careful not to get into the habit of rushing through your watering and dashing off. Instead, allow yourself to slow down and linger in the space. By the end of the season, you might even feel a sort of Love with your garden. Critters like rabbits will eat some of your crops. There are plenty of strategies to keep them away, but many gardeners enjoy seeing them around and don’t mind sharing!
Maximize Garden production by pinching off flowering buds to prevent them from going to seed. Vegetables like Beans, Peppers, and Tomato’s should be harvested regularly to encourage more growth. Pick mature fruits and pods promptly or else the plant will signal end of production. Succession crops like Beets, Lettuce, and Radishes should also be picked promptly to free up the space for larger varieties or another sowing, depending on your garden plan.
Throughout the course of the season expect a combination of successes and failures, that’s just the way it is! Even well seasoned gardeners experience failures despite all their expertise. However, your successful crops will likely produce more than you’ll know what to do with.
After harvesting is complete and the growing season is over, you’ll have to do a little maintenance to get your garden ready for Winter and next Spring.
Congratulations, you made it to the end! We believe you will be hooked and you will have what it takes to get growing this year! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions as the season goes on. Your success is important to us!
Best regards and Happy Gardening!