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Photo credit: CJAD

Today’s gardeners have different priorities than they did a generation ago.  Our focus has shifted to these three trends: growing-your-own, container gardening and growing an environmentally responsible garden.

Get an Early Start with Current Gardening Trends

by Mark Cullen

With the increased demand for locally grown food, urban gardeners are growing more of their own vegetables and fruits.  This is the month to start sowing many vegetables from seed if you want to harvest your own home grown produce this summer.  Seed racks in the stores are filled with a great selection this time of year.  I recommend that you look them over early in the season while the selection of seeds is at its’ best.

Growing plants from seed is both rewarding and economical.

Sowing seeds can be as simple or as sophisticated as you choose.  A sunny window can provide sufficient light or you may opt for supplemental grow lights.  Plastic-domed mini greenhouses have a humidity dome to help seal in moisture and encourage germination.

Light weight potting mixes, ProMix, promote optimum seedling growth.  Seed starting mixes are formulated to maximize water retention while they drain well.

One of the fastest growing trends in the garden is that of growing your own vegetables.  I call this the ‘100 meter diet’.   Many of your favourite vegetables grow best from seed that is sown directly into the soil come spring.  A short list of veggies that will grow from seed sown directly into the soil includes: peas, beans, corn, squash, pumpkin and carrots.

Growing Demand for Containers

I have been watching Canadian gardeners for a long time and one observation that I have is that we love to plant up containers to spruce up the deck, patio, pathways and everywhere else that you want colour and plants above the ground.

I urge you not to plant in last years’ soil, when you replant last years’ containers. Not that there is anything wrong with putting it on the ground and digging it in to your existing garden soil. Good idea! The point is that the nutrition was pulled out of the soil last year when you had plants growing in it.

Read the full article: CJAD

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.