Farming and food are at the core of life at Southlands. As the weather begins to warm up, our local farmers at the Southlands Farm are busy preparing their crops to be ready for our upcoming farmers market this summer. Local markets help to create a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle for our residents and for the greater Tsawwassen and Boundary Bay area; where community members can come and enjoy what is produced in their backyard!
Southlands is a place where agriculture is celebrated by providing farming that is integrated into every aspect of community life. Many Southlands residents have expressed interest in growing their own vegetables and we are thrilled to offer allotment gardens so they can experience the joy of growing their own produce for their households.
Whether you are just starting your produce journey or have completed several harvests, Southland’s farmers Seann and Suzy have compiled their top ticks and tricks for growing your own vegetables at home:
1.Start small – If you are just starting to grow your own produce, start small and only grow what you think you and your family will eat while you learn the basics. For beginners, we recommend a garden size of 10’ by 10’.
2. Plant your vegetables according to the season – Vegetables such as lettuce and peas grow in the cooler months of early spring and fall whereas vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers grow in the warmer month of late spring and summer. Make sure to review the days to maturity on the seed packet so you can plan when to switch your crops based on time to harvest and season.
3. Strategically plan where to plant your vegetables – Vegetables need plenty of sun to grow. Make sure your garden is in an area where your plants can get at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. If your garden has shade, plant cool season vegetables in the shaded areas. It is also important to ensure your garden is in a place that is safe from wind, animals and insects.
4. Make sure your soil is strong and healthy – Healthy soil is key to ensuring your plants thrive. Create deep, healthy soil beds by creating raised beds. Make sure to fertilize your soil (but not too much as over fertilizing attracts pests) and water often. We recommend setting a set schedule for watering, keeping rainfall in mind.
5. Keep a vegetable garden logbook – Tracking your progress, including photos, in a gardening logbook will help you identify what works and what doesn’t, making it easier for you to plan your garden for the following next year.
We hope you enjoy growing your own vegetables. To learn more about Southlands and our farm to table lifestyle, including the dates for our local farmers market, please visit Discoversouthlands.com and register today!