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How to Grow a Successful Vegetable Garden in Ontario’s Climate

Although Ontario’s climate is not always the easiest for gardeners, there is no reason you can’t grow a vegetable garden right in your own backyard. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind if you want it to be successful. Choosing the perfect location and providing the best care will help ensure this. Not to worry; read on for everything you need to know to grow a successful vegetable garden in Ontario.

Sun

The first thing you will need to do is pick a spot with adequate sunlight. Locate your vegetable garden in as much sun as possible. You want to make sure your plants will get at least six to eight hours of sun per day. Consider if there are any trees or buildings nearby that will cast shade on your garden. 

 Additionally, the sun is an important factor when planning the layout of your garden. Plant your vegetables in rows oriented north to south, with the tallest plants at the east end and the shortest at the west end. This way, the tall plants won’t shade the shorter plants later in the day as the sun moves from east to west.

Soil

The next consideration is soil. Plants need a healthy base to promote growth, so ensure your soil is nutrient-rich. You can do this by mixing about three inches of nutrient-rich soil or compost into the top layer of your soil. This will improve your plants’ health and allow their roots to grow easily in the loosely packed earth. Their roots will often fork or become misshapen in compacted or heavy soil.

As well, to ensure your soil remains in healthy condition, make sure to choose a location that isn’t prone to flooding, wind, or dryness. Any of these may have a detrimental effect on your garden.

Maintenance

Once you have created the perfect location for your garden, there is still lots of maintenance and care you will have to do to keep your garden healthy and thriving. First, ensure you plan your garden’s layout to provide adequate space for each vegetable. For example, butternut squash or pumpkin plants will need plenty of room to expand and grow, therefore you shouldn’t plant anything close by. You also need to plan when you are planting each vegetable according to their individual best planting times. This helps ensure they are ready to harvest before the first fall frost.

 Next, consider using mulch. Mulch helps retain moisture, encourages earthworms, and fosters microbial activity in the soil. It also reduces the need for weeding. Even if you do use mulch, your garden will still need consistent watering. If you mulched your garden you will not need to water as much, most established plants will only require a couple inches of water per week. If not, plants should be watered daily or as often as the soil becomes dry. 

With the proper location and care, you can have a flourishing vegetable garden in no time! If you need any plants or advice to get your garden started, be sure to stop in at Bloom Green Garden Centre! Good luck, gardeners!

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