With the hot weather this past Victoria Day weekend, I planted all my vegetable seeds. But my vegetable transplants are still getting the deluxe care treatment, kept in a cold frame or the greenhouse until I’m sure the last of the frost is past.
In some of the Yukon’s outlying areas, this could be as late as the first week in June, whereas in downtown Whitehorse or Riverdale, it may not get below freezing anymore.
It is always a bit of a guessing game, and I used to faithfully wait until past June 3, but with the warmer weather we’ve been having, I am planting my vegetable transplants a week earlier.
“Where do I plant which vegetable?” is a question I often get asked.
It is so easy to plant the potatoes or the cabbages in the same spot that they have always been, however crop rotation is essential for preventing a build-up of harmful soil-borne microbes that prefer certain plants.
Although compost and/or other soil additives should be added yearly, by not planting the same vegetable, or a member of its family, in the same location, you also minimize nutritional deficiencies, as each plant’s needs are slightly different.
Divide your garden space into sections and move the plants from one area to another. As a general rule, a plant should be replanted in its original spot only every three to four years.
Like all living things, vegetables belong to families. Knowing which plants are related will come in handy when rotating crops. See the handy sidebar for the various families.
Make your garden colourful by adding vegetables that have coloured leaves or unusual textures such as red Swiss chard, Savoy cabbage or red leaved lettuce.
Having flowers in the vegetable garden not only make it a pleasant place to work, it has beneficial and practical uses. Many flowers attract beneficial insects while other flowers repel pests that may invade your garden.
For many years, gardeners have used companion planting to enhance their gardens. Try some nasturtiums, as they are fast-growing, have peppery edible leaves and flowers, as well as repel some insects, and make a bright colourful addition to your garden.
Or try aromatic marigolds, which have been known to keep bugs at bay either in the garden or in the greenhouse.