From our head gardener Alexandre Faille
Ideally, the preparation for gardening season starts as early as in January or February. To establish the basis for a successful harvest, you want to:
- Plan the development of a landscaping and planting that respects the space available.
- Plan the number of hours per week that you want to dedicate to the task.
This will guide you through all your following gardening decisions starting by the ordering of seeds. If you have the necessary space and equipment, the indoor planting of certain varieties such as tomatoes, eggplants and onions is an option following a precise schedule. If you do not have the right installation, equipment or time, it is also possible to supplement or only use plants purchased in greenhouses from nurseries.
What fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers should I plant for Spring
In Spring, during the month of April and May, we plant and sow plants that can withstand light frosts. However, you need to consider that the risk of a frost remains until late May, early June.
Some of us suggest to wait until after the last full moon of May (or early June) to plant tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and cucumbers.
Spring is therefore a good time to plant onions, swiss chard, leeks, parsnips, artichokes, lettuce, savory, cabbage, oregano, cauliflower, chives, kale,borage and other members of the brassica family.
It is also the right moment to sow carrots, peas, cucumbers, gourds, mesclun, potatoes, radishes, corn, spinach and beets.
What should I add to my soil for a Spring garden?
It really depends of what is accessible to you, I personnally use vegetable compost, composted manure (sheep, horse, etc.) and granulated chicken manure.
You choose the necessary amendment and its quantity according to the variety of vegetables planted in a specific place.
For example, tomatoes require a rich soil with a contribution of compost before planting and during the season. However, peas do not require a fertilized soil if it was composted the previous year. The elaboration of a planting plan in Winter makes sense here.
How to prepare & clean the beds?
It is good to:
- Spade the soil to activate its microbial life as soon as possible and to remove visible weeds that have made it through the Winter.
- Place on a patch of soil a black plastic sheet for a few days or weeks in preparation for planting or a semi. This keeps the soil clean, speeds up the decomposition of organic matter and warms the soil.
- Install a natural mulch when planting certain plants.
How do beehives help support and maintain a healthy ecosystem in a garden?
Bees have a vital role to play in the quality of the fruits and vegetables we harvest. Through their incessant work, they pollinate the flowers of our plants in an optimal way. Studies tend to show that a well pollinated vegetable or fruit will be bigger and can be kept longer. The presence of beehives near our gardens allows us to count on a critical mass of these precious allies.