Edible Gardening 101: Part 1

Everyone fails at gardening one time or another. So much can go wrong: poor weather, poor seed germination, soil is off, wrong timing, wrong zone planting, or the chickens get in and eat all your ground cherries before harvesting.

So fear not the edible garden! I have had a garden most of my life, have had success about 80% of the time in a good year and 20% of a learning curve most of the others. Whatever you grow, there are always basics.

It can be very overwhelming to hear people who have been growing for years or educated formally in agriculture to discuss compost ratios, heritage varieties of seeds, open pollinaters, and growing zones.In order to not get discouraged, we need to start with the basics.

Jennifer holding an armful of fresh vegetables

Trust me, hauling carrots you grew from a seed pack from The Garden Center is just as satisfying and seeing a loofah grow on a trellis, companion planted with heritage beans you saved!

The Basics:

Growing Zone

Location, Location, Location

Prepare The Soil

Planning: Garden Plan


Where to Buy Seeds

Is it Time To Plant Yet?

How to Plant

Weeds, Weeds, Weeds….what’s a gal to do?

Pest Control

Harvest, Sweet Harvest

Keep Going or Take a Rest?

Good Things

Join me over the next few blogs as I chat with you about the basics. And we dream some beautiful garden dreams together. (Also you will learn I have no shame in the garden. Everything is fair game! That’s a little clickbait for ya 😂).

Part 1/12

Growing Zone

I’ll make it easy for you. There are zones 1-9. You can find a chart of growing zones almost everywhere. We are zone 6b due to our mild winters.

We need to pay attention to zones for soil warmth. The seeds you buy will germinate when conditions are right: warm soil, nutrients, water, and light, so buy the right seeds for your zone and plant them when the soil temp is right. I love to buy seeds from the maritimes because I know they have been climatized for our area. Don’t buy seeds for really warm climates (hello, you know we are not hot and dry).

If the seeds need a long growing time, and if you live on an island off the Atlantic Ocean (That’s me ) you will not grow watermelon without a lot of work and the creation of a microclimate. Any plant or seed for any other zone than 6, will need extra help or care. I, myself, am not into that!

The warmth of the soil is what matters, not the warmth of the air. I don’t mess around with temperature probes. I just go by our zone planting times and old fashioned common sense. Our growing season here in South West Nova Scotia is only 170 to 180 days. So whatever you plant has to be able to mature in that time. Unless you have a greenhouse, but we aren’t going there yet. I create microclimates using cold frames, row covers and hoop houses. But you don’t need all these to start. Local seeds for your zones and growing season length are what you are looking at right now if you are curled up with seed catalogues today. (Proper thing 🙂 .

Love Jenn xx

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