How to start a backyard garden

by | Jun 8, 2023 | Home and Living

With the high cost of food, many of us are considering starting a garden this year. Plus, tending to a garden is a great excuse for spending time outside and getting some low-impact exercise. Here are a few things you can do to get started.

  • Location, location, location
    The first step in starting a garden is to figure out where to locate it. You’ll want a spot that is exposed to the sun for most of the day, is sheltered from the wind and isn’t in a depression where water can pool and damage your plants’ roots.
  • Soil supplements
    In many parts of the province, there’s only a very thin layer of topsoil above sand or rock. If that’s the case in your yard, you’ll need to buy some topsoil. Regardless of your soil conditions, you’ll want to top up with some compost or manure so your plants can thrive.
  • Wildlife protection
    Whether it’s urban raccoons and squirrels or deer and other larger wildlife, animals will gladly help themselves to your produce if you don’t protect it. In some cases, you might be able to keep them away with scents they find offensive – garden centres sell predator urine for this purpose. You could also use reflective tapes, noise makers or a motion-activated sprinkler.
  • Choose the right plants
    Not all vegetation will thrive in Ontario’s climate, particularly if you live in the northern part of the province. Consult with your local garden centre to find out which plants will work best in your area. You should also be aware that some common garden plants – such as mint – will grow like weeds if you don’t contain them and trim them back.
  • Click before you dig
    There are several utility services that might have equipment buried under your yard, including natural gas lines, hydro lines, telecoms and sewage. In Ontario, you’re legally obligated to contact an organization called Ontario One Call to request utility “locates” at least five days before you start digging out your garden plot.

Learn more about buried utilities and request a locate at ontarioonecall.ca

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