Grow Chart for Gardening Newbies
The most cultivated vegetables (and the easiest ones to grow!) in Quebec and Ontario
|Vegetables||When to sow?||Ideal sowing depth||When to harvest?|
|Lettuce||Sow in the ground around the beginning of May. As it ripens quickly, sow more every 2 weeks until early September to ensure a continuous harvest.||Sow the seeds 0.6 to 1.5 cm deep and space them 4 cm apart. When the leaves begin to touch, thin out to leave 15 to 20 cm between plants.||Harvest leaf lettuce when it is 40 to 60 days old, depending on the variety, by cutting the plant at the base.|
|Tomato||Wait until the ground is warm to the touch and nighttime temperatures generally remain above 10 °C. Tomatoes produce better fruits when you train them.||Dig 20 cm deep. Prick the plants at 50 cm spacing.||Harvest the fruit when it has taken on a nice bright color.|
|Zucchini||When the ground and the air has warmed up.||Dig 2.5 cm deep and 70 cm apart.||Harvest the zucchini when they are still young and tender, about 15 to 20 cm long. The more you harvest, the more the plant will produce!|
|Cucumber||Wait until the air and ground are warmed up. Cucumbers produce the best fruit when train them.||Dig 1.5 cm deep and 45 cm apart.||Cucumbers are harvested when they are about 15 cm long. The more you harvest, the more the plant will produce!|
|Radish||It prefers cool soils, so start sowing very early, 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost.||Sow it 1.5 cm deep and 2.5 cm apart, then, to prolong the harvest, sow more every two weeks until mid-June.||Often ready to eat in only 25 to 35 days.|
|Beans||Wait until the risk of frost is gone and the soil is well warmed before seeding. Beans produce better fruit when trained on a trellis or net.||Sow 2 cm deep and 8 cm apart.||Beans should be harvested when the cloves are still thin. The more you harvest, the more the plant will produce!|
|Beet||Beet behaves much better in cool soils, so it is usually sown 3 or 4 weeks before the last frost.||Sow the seeds 1.25 cm deep and 30 cm apart. It is necessary to thin them out to let only one plant grow.||The roots grow fairly quickly and you can try a harvest of "baby roots" after about 50 days. The roots will continue to grow throughout the summer for a final harvest at the end of August.|
|Vegetables||Good neighbors||Bad neighbors||Growth|
|Lettuce||carrot, cabbage, cucumber, onion, tomato||celery, parsley||Fast: Continuous harvest every two weeks.|
|Tomato||carrot, asparagus, basil, onion||potato, cabbage||Very slow: it is better to buy plants already started and transplant them than to start from seeds.|
|Zucchini||basil, corn||cucumber||Very fast|
|Cucumber||beans, peas, celery, lettuce||zucchini, potato||Very fast|
|Radish||cucumber, zucchini, beans, lettuce||vine||Very fast|
|Beans||beet, cabbage, carrot, tomato||garlic, leek||Fast: dwarf beans
Rather slow: string beans
|Beet||cabbage, onion, radish||string beans, spinach||Rather fast: continuous harvest over 4 months.|
Soil depth requirements
Some raised planter boxes are set on cement patios or on gravel surfaces, which prevent roots from going deeper than the height of planter box sides. If you are using raised planter boxes to grow your vegetables instead of using open-bottomed beds directly on the soil, you will have to follow specific soil depth requirements, depending on which vegetables/fruits/herbs you wish to grow.
|Shallow rooting 12″ - 18″||Medium rooting 18″ - 24″||Deep rooting 24″ - 36″ +|
Some important rules to follow for a good watering
- A vegetable garden needs regular watering of about 25 liters of water per square metre per week (including rainwater).
- Keep plants uniformly moist: Most plants depend on uniform watering. However, slight dehydration before watering improves root growth.
- It is better to water infrequently than to overwater: Watering the flowerbeds sufficiently once or twice a week—it is better to water often with a little water than to water rarely with too much water.
- Water late in the evening or early in the morning: When watering late in the evening, less water evaporates than when watering in the middle of the day, especially on hot days. This gives your plants time to absorb the water before it gets too hot.
- Avoid puddles: Puddles discourage air to flow to the roots—the roots will lose oxygen and die.