The warm weather we've been having this week, makes it feel like it’s the end of March not the end of February. I’ve been ordering seeds online and buying them at The Evergreen Brickworks as I cannot control the urge to try out new things this year in the garden. After much research on the internet and trial and error with various types of plants, I have learned that we can grow many things in fall, winter and early spring in our zone 6a city of Toronto.
Asian greens, brassicas, mustards, spinach, and certain types of cold hardy lettuces can survive most of the fall and winter in our climate. Some new varieties I’m planting this year include Red Striped Mauna, Toy Choi (a baby bok choy), Mache, TFM Frizzee, Red Wave Mustard, Astro Arugula and Clayton. I ordered them online from West Coast Seeds. All these greens can be planted very early in the spring when the weather is above 4 Celsius.
It is important when gardening almost year round that you add amendments to the soil in between plantings to replenish the soil of nutrients and get the best harvest possible. With the warm weather over the weekend, I went outside to the garden and got our raised beds ready for spring planting. I added some glacial rock dust to put some minerals and trace elements back into the soil, as well as sea compost, azomite, wood ash (from untreated wood burned in fireplace) and bloodmeal.
I also put in plastic hoops (made from a roll of plumbing conduit) and covered them with 6-mil poly plastic (the kind used for vapor barrier in houses) that I bought at Home Depot. This year I’m using binder clips to help secure the plastic to the hoops. You can also use bricks or stones to anchor the plastic to the ground so it doesn’t fly around when it gets windy. Putting the plastic on creates a mini greenhouse and warms the soil up so that when I do plant the seeds/seedlings outside the soil is at the right temperature for germination.
Hi I'm Vesna Bosnar. I'm a mother, architect, gardener, explorer, educator and scientist. I want to share my love of gardening and learning through exploring and experimenting in the garden and kitchen with your family. Please join me to try out new things and allow your minds to explore all the possibilities of vegetable gardening and cooking.