The weather is starting to get just a tiny bit warmer and I’m looking forward to be getting outside and into the garden to grow all my favorite herbs and veggies this year.
The prep is coming along quite nicely. I’ve ripped up my back yard, which involved a lot of hard work, to make room to plant all those tomatoes, beans, peppers, radish… you name it.
If you have no idea about when to plant different veggies in the Ottawa area, here’s a little guidance for you:
- 8 to 12 weeks before the last frost you should start to grow stuff inside, onions for example
- 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost you should start to grow everything that takes a long time to germ
- Cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers
- If it’s already warm, which is not always guaranteed at this time of the year, you can start planting radish, spinach, peas, all sorts of lettuce, beets
- Time for potatoes, beans, cucumbers. Possibly tomatoes (check weather forecast first).
Summer + Autumn
- If you like kale, you can put it into the ground now. The same goes for sprouts, sweet potatoes, your peppers, tomatoes.
September + October:
- You should have harvested most by now. Plant up what will be overwintered and take cuttings. Polytunnels are great for fall crops. If father frost turns up, remember to put plants inside over night.
All in all, there are many different sources that will tell you different things about when to plant, grow and harvest what kind of crops. And the weather also varies from one year to another. So take these instructions with a grain of salt and always do your own thinking about what would probably be the next move going forward.
The Community Garden Council of the Waterloo Region has also created this really cool planting calendar, which tells you exactly when to plant seeds in Ontario – or Southwestern Ontario to be even more precise.
It has literally saved my crops many times over the years and has prevented me from planting too early or too late. The calendar also tells you when to start indoor and outdoor seeding, when it’s time to transplant any how many grams of seeds you are going to need for growing carrots, garlic, pumkin, delicious cucumber, cauliflower…
Why Planting Your Own Vegetables?
Here are a couple of reasons why I plant vegetables in my own garden and why you should do so, too:
- Lawn is pretty much good for nothing, except if you have kids and they want to play outside. Veggies and herbs feed your family and they are much more healthy than stuff from the supermarket, unless you stick to buying organic food only.
- What better way is there to get access to food with all the nutrients that you need on a daily basis and without pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals.
- Bees are endangered and they love diversity. You are doing them a huge favor.
- In the grocery store the offer is usually very limited.
- Planting your own vegetables is also great to learn new stuff, teach your children about it, and have a great conversation starter with your neighbours.