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GetGrowing! Start a Garden

We have provided some useful tips to get growing, as well as links to online learning events and resource guides. Check seed packages for their specific instructions, as well.

How to Start a Vegetable Garden


Most plants need 6 to 8 hours per day of full sun. Choose spots close to your house or patio, this will make watering and weeding easier, and provide some shelter from elements.


Raised plant beds create a physical barrier that help limit weed growth. Try using a layer of cardboard or newspaper underneath the first layer of dirt for even more protection from unwanted growth.


Check that existing soil is in good shape and drains well, aim for a half-and-half mix of soil and rich compost. If you dig up only rocks and clay, fill your beds with top soil and compost.


If this is your first vegetable garden, start small, and give yourself a season to learn,
then expand next season.


Mulch helps prevent weeds from growing and adds nutrients to the soil as it decays.
Consider adding mulch around your plants once they are established. You can use shredded leaves and/or grass clippings.


If you find bugs you don’t want hanging around, look into natural pest control before reaching for potentially harmful chemicals. Not ALL bugs are bad, ask our garden experts.


Most beans, peas, and potatoes are fine to pick when they’re young. Let peppers stay on the vine to ripen. Cut lettuce leaves, leaving about an inch at the bottom (once they reach four or five inches in height) – they’ll continue to grow for another harvest later in the season.

Be consistent in your watering schedule, use about an inch of water per week, depending on the soil and weather. Keep an open mind, take notes for next year’s garden, and enjoy your delicious local products!

Growing Tomatoes & Peppers

You can start from seeds or from young plants.

Plants like high sun exposure. Take into account what spot will get the most light when you decide where to plant your seeds/plants.

Treat your soil with compost mixture so your plants are fed and encouraged to grow.

Plants need about an inch of water every week, but be sure to water them more if you notice your plants droop or wilt.

Plants can grow very tall and should be supported in order to grow more fruit. Place stakes as you’re planting so you don’t ruin the root system as it grows.

Cut-and-Come-Again Crops

Swiss chard, Mescaline and other lettuces

Sow seed thinly across a shallow seed.

Water occasionally.

Protect emerging seedling from snails and slugs.

Cut handfuls when the crop is 3” to 4” high.

Do not cut the growing tip at the base.

Water immediately after harvesting.

Come again in a few weeks!

Climbing Plants

Cucumbers, peas, and beans

They will need something to climb on and use for support as they get bigger.


Cucumbers, squash, pumpkin, and melons

If your fruits are withering and dying instead of growing, the male and female flowers may need to be pollinated by hand.


Female flowers open in the early morning while the male flowers are still viable.

Remove a few male flowers from their stems. Transfer the pollen by rubbing the male flower centers against the female flower centers, or gather the pollen on a soft brush and transfer it onto the top of the stgmas in the female flowers.

Tie the female flowers shut with string or a zip tie to ensure the hand pollination remains uncontaminated.


identifying male vs female for pollination

Register for a Kit

Supplies are limited, register to reserve your free seedling kit.


Workshops & Resources

Webinars, workshops and other online resources for gardening!


Sponsor a Seedling

Each $10 donation helps us provide an additional kit to your neighbours.