While we may not be expert gardeners, we love the rewards of getting our hands dirty in the garden. If you’re considering starting your garden by creating seeds indoors or planting garlic cloves in the fall, we’ve compiled some of our favourite online resources to help you get started. After all, gardening can be one of life’s greatest joys.
For those looking to start their vegetable garden, we highly recommend utilizing the Almanac’s Planting Dates Calendar for Kingston or anywhere in Ontario. Additionally, you plan to start with seeds. In that case, You Grow Girl offers a helpful spreadsheet that calculates the optimal planting dates for various vegetables and herbs based on your input for the last frost date.
According to the Zone Map, Amherst Island, which spans 4-6km, falls within Plant Hardiness Zone 6A. However, local gardeners and the land suggest that the South Shore falls into a different growing zone than the North Shore. For instance, lilacs on the North Shore bloom a week or two earlier than those on the South Shore.
Fortunately, we have a gardening expert on the island who is a friend: Doug Green
Check out Doug’s Guide to Canadian Vegetable Gardening book and blog for more information on gardening in the region.
You’re not alone if you’re dealing with deer in your garden. Many gardeners, including ourselves, have faced this challenge. The Empress of Dirt blog has a helpful post that provides tips on how to keep deer out of your garden. You can also find more gardening advice by visiting her Grow page.
I particularly enjoy growing tomatoes, herbs, and my neighbour’s kale in my garden, which was so abundant last year that they allowed me to “shop” there. My husband eats kale salad every day for lunch! Perennial herbs such as chives and thyme that start to grow in the spring bring me great joy.
Lorna’s garden provides the perfect shade for parsley and cilantro, which I use to make delicious tabbouleh. However, I have had difficulty growing rosemary, as has Larry Hodgson, the prolific author of the Laidback Gardener blog. Hodgson provides helpful and humorous tips, particularly regarding growing rosemary.
When I first started gardening, I followed Epic Gardening on Instagram religiously. However, since he posts frequently, you may find it easier to search for his informative content on YouTube instead. Although he is in a different Hardiness Zone (Southern California), his videos are still applicable and helpful. During that time, I also watched numerous YouTube videos and created a playlist for beginner gardeners. It’s worth revisiting those videos.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to start vegetable gardening, check out this post from Toronto Botanical Gardens.
While it may be too early to start gardening outside, it’s never too early to begin growing seeds and planning your garden. So go ahead and dream big!