Plan(t) Ahead: Make Sure You’re Sowing the Right Vegetables This Summer
Garden fresh vegetables are a delight to add to any meal, but planning out your garden each year can be tricky for even experienced gardeners. To successfully plan out your garden takes careful consideration of what the environment for growth that you will be working with is like in addition to deciding what vegetables best suit your needs and wants.
Every gardener needs to pay attention to soil temperature, soil composition, humidity, and irrigation needs of different plants.
However, this shouldn’t feel overwhelming, as we’re going to offer some of the best suggestions to grow right here in our community.
Sowing your seeds at the correct time allows you to stagger your harvest and reap the most out of your plants. One of the factors that rely so heavily on timing is soil temperature. For a June/July plant, the average soil temperature should be matched with the vegetables that will be best suited for those conditions.
Certain seeds sown in too cold of soil will take longer to grow and delay your harvest. While this may not be a problem for those with small hobby gardens, but patience will be necessary if you’re looking forward to the end of the cycle, from growth to plate.
Some may think Alberta does not have a conducive environment for growing vegetables, but many hardy plants do quite well under cooler conditions. For instance, warmer climates will have salad crops like arugula and lettuce, having just gone to seed while gardeners in Alberta are already planting their second crop.
Even studies across Canada have shown gardening as an entertaining and healing hobby during the pandemic, which has highlighted many of the health features.
The effects of gardening and growing your own vegetables have both mental and physical health benefits. Many articles and studies have found that gardening, whether it’s vegetables or not, increases our serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical naturally produced by the body, strengthening our immune system and serving as a natural anti-depressant.
This healthy hobby has also shifted the focus of many homeowners to invest more in their own homes, making better use of their backyard space and landscaping to create an optimal place for their families.
Clever uses of space and vertical gardening have proven to become some of the best strategies for smaller spaces to feel fulfilled with a garden without taking up much space for gatherings.
With summer only beginning, now is the best time to redesign or make some upgrades to your backyard as there is plenty of sunshine and summer nights ahead.
July also offers optimal growth opportunities for more veggies such as kale, chard, snow peas and scallions to help your garden flourish. There’s no shortage of delicious recipes for summertime meals with known super-foods.
If you’re looking to plant root vegetables like carrots, beets, potatoes, and radishes are a great choice for early summer growth. Their sprouts can be seen even after the last frost of the season so that you can count on them through tumultuous weather.
Alberta has a colder climate, so late maturing vegetables that are sown in June or early July will usually not be ready for harvest until late fall. By purchasing seedlings, you can get a jump start to decrease the time until harvest. This saves you time and gives you the peace of mind from worrying about optimal germination conditions.
Vegetables like melon, pumpkin, squash or cucumbers are good vegetables to buy starters if you plan on sowing them now. This will give them plenty of time to mature and harvest before the fall frost. Cut up your melon and cucumbers into a refreshing and crisp salad that is perfect for the summertime. And this squash and apple bake will have you wondering why you never grew your own vegetables before.
Keep an eye out on the price of seedlings, though. The luxury of purchasing starter plants often comes at a much higher cost than sowing your seeds. If you are planning on maintaining a garden for many years, consider building your own personal greenhouse.
Using a greenhouse is a wonderful investment that allows you to sow your own seeds in May for these more difficult crops, so the seedlings will be ready to plant in June.
Are you worried about plating more than you can eat? Well, worry, no longer. Pull out the pressure canner, dehydrator, or freezer bags you have tucked away and store all your excess vegetables to save them for the wintertime. You’ll be grateful for it when you are eating your homegrown vegetables all year long.
Looking to create your own gardening space? Contact us for a free quote now for landscape designs and construction.