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Lower Mainland BC- what and when to plant??  RSS feed

 
Sophie Thomas
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Hello!

I am very, very new to large gardens and I am struggling to know what to plant and when. I have scoured the internet looking for info and everyone says something different. I have now looked through the many (over ambitious) number of seed bags and written out a rough plan but based on the info from the seed packs, I am not planting according to many websites.

Essentially I am planting based on what the weather and soil says- not very reliable for a newbie.

Is there anyone in the Lower Mainland (or similar area) that can give me some tips??

Thank you so much!!
 
Michael Milligan
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Hi Sophie!

I live in South Surrey. Plant all your seeds now, indoor or out. We've passed the statistical last frost date, so you SHOULD be ok, but I'm not going to promise anything! lol

That said, the traditional start of our garden season is May long weekend.

This year I just scattered tons of seeds in a couple beds a few weeks ago, now they are growing and I'm planting them around the rest of the garden.

Plant. Things planted after May long weekend soon catch up to things planted before, so there isn't really an advantage other than getting to plant seeds, and that's enough for me!

What do you want to plant? All of the Brassica like radish or broccoli or cabbage can surely be planted in place right now. Hot loving things like tomatoes or peppers are best in a greenhouse or window sill until it heats up.

I'm under employed right now, so if you need a hand with your garden in person I work for bus fare and grocery gift cards! lol
 
Sophie Thomas
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That all sounds good to me

I went out the other day and was digging around and thought, the frost is gone, why can't I plant? But like I've said I've read so many conflicting things!

I planted radishes and broccoli yesterday along with some kale and spinach. I also through some chives down. I started several plants inside weeks ago but the cat got into them last week and ruined all of them.

The main veggie garden is still under grass right now along with some aggressive invasives that popped up this year. I am not concerned with clearing land or anything like that but the invasive plants need to come out before I plant.

I am actually not on a bus route! I live way up in the back of Mission on a small acreage. If you have any other ways of travelling...

Thank you so much for the info! And I'm excited to see another member from BC!
 
Michael Milligan
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You should be able to plant just about any seeds now.... but search for "last frost date mission bc" to make sure. Toms and peppers should wait.

As for the lawn you have under grass... that is an EASY fix. It's called "sheet mulching". Lay down a layer of wet cardboard or news paper where you want your garden. Then cover that in as thick a layer of soil/compost/manure/whatever, and plant in that. The plants roots can make their way down, but the grass and weeds underneath cant come up! You can even leave the paths as lawn for walking on, but make sure they are wide enough for the mower! haha

I feel bad now that I know this technique and see people breaking their backs pulling up grass and tilling and weeding. IMHO, growing food is so, so, so much easier than it was taught to me as a kid. lol

I'll look into alternative transport, there is still a lot of season left!

 
Sophie Thomas
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Cool idea with the cardboard! I will give that a try for some of the smaller gardens

I don't like the idea of removing the sod and we weren't really on the ball last fall so we didn't do any tilling or other prep. Any that we do remove will go to the hugelkultur beds that I am giving a whirl.

I agree that it is easier than it seemed to be taught back when I was in school. My family originated in Wales and Scotland and we have a long tradition of farming but my parents were more career focused when I was younger so it hasn't been until recently that I have been able to benefit from their insight. I have certainly appreciated the suggestions from people on here as well!
 
Saybian Morgan
gardener
Posts: 582
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
8
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have any of you seen jerusalem artichokes in the shops, i'm always looking for grocery stores that keep the food in a planting material state. Has this been the greatest spring in 7 years for anyone else or is it that the rain cloud that lives above me at the base of a mountain has moved on due to urban sprawl. I found a chinese grocer's in the sketchy part of downtown that has raw peanuts sprouting out of the shell, they want 9 bux for 3 dried chokes at the nursery but I found 150 sunchokes for 25 dollars at a place called dons market. I still need an ethnic grocer that has allot of seed and beans from South south america, if i could get yucca at grocery store prices I'd be laughing. I try to focus as much as I can on tubers and large seeds, I dunno what happens to tiny seeds but I know the birds/squirrels/ants and my ducks know. I learned what closing the greenhouse door meant last year when the squirrel ate 80 of my peanut plants.

Anyways back to what to plants, the answer is this year everything early or late, I get anxiety sitting while at work everytime I see the sun i realize I'm not planting my dream crops. I think i can actually grow wheat this year, i don't care if all i get is a loaf of grainy bread out of it.
 
Lisa Paulson
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Saybian, I buy ginger and turmeric root for planting from A & T Asian market . Have bought fresh chestnuts and things from Chinatown district of Vancouver for planting as well.
Weather has been amazing and I can hardly stand holding back, I have been out working in the garden and have started to look a little sun kissed again after winter. I am starting to plant but I too wish I had a mentor , I seem to learn things the hard way and if it suddenly turns wet and cool I may regret planting now, We can have snow here in South Langley up until mid April. Most of my soil has been worked to the point where it is not as heavy clay as it previously was so hopefully all will go well planting early. I feel a little late planting hardwood cuttings but putting in blueberry, grapes , figs , and honeyberry cuttings and may try a few other things.
 
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