Having a green thumb is all the rage now. However, planting, growing and harvesting aren’t always easy. These gardening tips from Canadian experts will make sure that you don’t mess it up.
If you've been taking up new hobbies while staying at home, gardening might be next on your list now that we’re well into spring and almost into summer.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) released a bunch of tips from expert researchers about how to exercise your green thumb and grow the best garden you can.
"Gardening is an activity that remains unaffected by COVID-19 physical distancing limits, and it’s a great way for households to connect with nature while providing some light exercise," the government agency said in a newsletter.
First and foremost, every garden begins with soil and if you want a healthy one, you’ll need to get quality soil.
Since we live in such a vast country, soil takes on different textures in different places, but all of them have been studied by researchers with AAFC for almost 100 years.
Before planting anything, dig up some dirt and toss it gently in your hands.
"It should be dark, crumble easily and smell fresh," said Keith Reid, an AAFC research scientist.
Also, tilling the soil can actually be destructive so the experts suggest only doing it when you’re planting seeds or starting a new garden bed.
When planting, try intercropping.
That means you put more than one type of plant together instead of having all your different vegetables separate.
You actually get better crop yields when you grow corn, squash and beans together.
"Intercropping allows the soil to hang onto more nutrients," said Dan Reynolds, a research scientist at AAFC Harrow Research and Development Centre. "These nutrients travel from the soil, to crops, to your belly – it’s a triple win."
If you’re growing veggies, they need twice as much water and more soil nutrients than flowers do, so you’ll have to water and fertilize more often.
You'll also need seeds, which are more popular than ever.
Veseys, a P.E.I.-based business that you can order seeds from, is experiencing a boom in sales like it’s never seen before.
The company told the CBC that the largest demographic of digital buyers is now people between 25 and 34 years old and it’s been a buying frenzy since March.