Vegetable gardening step 1: preparing your seedlings
The arrival of spring is synonymous with beautiful weather, warmth and… your future vegetable garden. April is the time to get your seeds started so they are ready for transplanting into your garden around June. Seedlings are the first step to a bountiful garden.
Vegetables, herbs, perennial or annual flowers—anything is possible. Spring is yours!
Planting calendar and vegetable selection
It’s best to consult a vegetable growing calendar before choosing your vegetable garden varieties. Keep in mind the hardiness zone of your garden’s location. This calendar can be easily found online and contains important information on many vegetable varieties.
The calendar will tell you:
- When to sow each type of vegetable
- How deep to sow the seed
- What type of container to use
- The germination time
- When to transplant the plant to the garden
- The spacing required in the vegetable garden
maturity of each plant and when to harvest
Choosing your seeds
Opt for a Quebec seed company, not only to support buying local, but more importantly, to ensure seeds are adapted to our northern regions. By choosing seeds that are grown in a climate similar to ours, you’ll have a better chance at a bountiful summer harvest.
Plan before choosing
Planning your growing area is key. Whether in a pot or planter, garden or field, it’s important to know the size of your growing area to have the right number of seedlings to plant in your garden.
Planning also means knowing how much space each plant needs for optimal growth. How many cherry tomato plants would you like? How much space will each plant need? There are countless questions to ask yourself before choosing your vegetables and sowing your seeds. Green thumb tip: drawing a sketch of the available space is a good way to plan your garden. Note that a single tomato plant requires approximately 3 square feet of space. Measure your growing area!
To grow your seedlings, you will need:
- Trays with ventilated domes
- Multi-cell tray
- Plant markers
- Seed starting mix
- Variety of seeds
There are seedling starter kits that include multi-cells and soil— perfect for beginner gardeners.
- Always water seedlings in the morning
- Check soil moisture beforehand to avoid overwatering
- Use water at room temperature
- Never fertilize dry soil
- Let the soil dry a little once two leaves have grown
- Water the tray, not the soil when the roots have reached the bottom
The key to growing seedlings is getting the right balance between ventilation, minerals, light and water. One last tip: don’t overpamper your plants, they need to prepare for real life!
On your marks, get set, sow!