If you’ve been inspired to try growing your own vegetable garden during the pandemic, here are three steps to follow to get your best harvest.
• Choose a spot with plenty of sunlight.
• Make sure you have easy access to water.
• Map your garden. Plant tall crops like corn north or west of short crops.
• Plan to use companion planting, such as marigolds, in your veggie garden to naturally deter bugs.
• Start your seeds for tomatoes, peppers and broccoli early indoors.
• Wait until after the last spring frost to start planting outdoors.
• Check with your garden supply retailer for high-quality seeds and plants.
• Plant in straight rows to make cultivating, harvesting and insect control easier.
• Feed your soil with the right balance of nutrients using a good quality fertilizer.
• Water plants regularly, especially in the early stages.
• Monitor your plants often for signs of pests and disease. (Tip: remove the bottom third of leaves on tomatoes to help prevent mold and rot.)
• Remove weeds and insect-ravaged plants.
• Encourage beneficial insects in your garden.
• If a pest problem persists, apply a pest control product following the instructions on the label.
Pesticides available in stores have been approved by Heath Canada as safe for people, pets and the environment.