A Seeds of Success
Plan out your garden. Create your own design - raised beds, short rows, long rows, squares? Draw it, decide what to grow and where. Keep crop rotation in mind, as well as height of plants (not to shade for other plants), distance needed between rows, angle of the light, aesthetics, shade, sheltered or not. Different vegetables have different “needs”, i.e. some need more nitrogen than others, some tolerate shade. Think about how much (or little) space you have and what varieties you prefer, and how much salad can you really eat? Consider planting for maximum yield. What experiments do you want to do this year?How much do you need to access each crop type? Potatoes just need water and harvesting, carrots need regular thinning. it is easier to access things on the perimeter of a plot than it is to access the items in the centre.
Seeds of success: Pick seed with the least amount of days to maturity. Average frost free days: Some sources say May 27 through September 15 (110 days), though other sources say only around 70 frost free days. On average the frost-free period is somewhere in between. Less in lower lying areas (such as the new Old Town site). See success seeds list provided for the tried and true.check out the "climate" page for the the record from the Yellowknife airport.
Where to buy: Save yourself some money and wasted time, by ensuring you buy good quality seed. Planning ahead is a good idea, as we are not always assured the best by buying last minute seeds.
Helpful hints: Consider using garden blankets/floating row covers. The blankets put over top of the freshly seeded ground provide shelter, protection from the dry wind, raised temperature and some protection against a spring frost. Planting time can be pushed forward by 8 to 14 days by using this method.
TEST & NURTURE the soil before planting: test and turn soil and add what is missing, remove weeds including roots.
Many plants can be planted much more densely than the package recommends. The beans at the back left are about 5 inches apart. The beets at the back centre are too close together. The potatoes in the foreground are very dense as are the carrots at the front right. The carrots will need frequent thinning to keep them appropriately spaced as they grow. June 26.
The same plot July 5
The same plot July 21
A plot covered with a floating row cover