Vegetable Planting for Ajax, ON
St. Andrew’s Community Garden
By: Wayne Hingston
When do I plant each vegetable?
Early Spring Vegetables:
Can be planted in early April: peas, spinach, lettuce seeds, onion sets, leeks, turnip, kohlrabi, Kale, collard greens, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, broad (fava) beans
Late Spring Vegetables:
Can be planted in early May: carrots, beets, Swiss chard, radishes, parsnips, mustard greens, satisfy, rutabaga, Chinese cabbage, celery, white (Irish) potato (? Best planted later to avoid potato beetle infestations )
Early Summer Vegetables:
Can be planted on the last frost date (May 24) or soon after: tomatoes, sweet potato cuttings, melons, squash, cucumbers, zucchini, okra, peppers, eggplant, beans
This is the practice of harvesting an early vegetable and then replanting to another vegetable.
Example: 1. plant peas (April to late June), then potatoes
- plant spinach, followed by beans in mid-June
- plant leaf lettuce, then plant tomatoes on their south side in late May
- plant beets and harvest in late July, plant lettuce for fall crop
- plant carrots and harvest some, plant peas (August) for September crop
This is the practice of planting smaller or later vegetables amongst an earlier crop.
Example: 1. plant carrots among tomatoes or lettuce
- plant beets between rows of beans, onions, or lettuce
This is the practice of changing locations from one year to the next. Different vegetable need
different soil nutrients, so rotating crops gives better yields and reduces pest and disease problems.
One Method: by plant Family – 1. Beans and peas – add nitrogen to soils
- Cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, kale – add lime to rich soils
- Squash, melons – enrich with manures/compost
- Tomato, eggplants, peppers, potatoes – manure/compost
There are ways to plant earlier, and have plants survive early fall frosts. This can add several weeks to
the growing season.
- Starting Indoors: sow seeds, raise plantlets, harden before planting
- Black plastic: cover moist soil in spring with black plastic. It warms earlier, cut to plant early seeds.
- Raised Beds: raised beds warm earlier in the spring, (and cool sooner in fall)
- Mulch: adding mulch, in September, around cool tolerant plants can extend the season.
- Manure: place FRESH manure below roots, then soil, for bottom heat in spring
- Plastic Covers:
- individual plants can be “wrapped” to trap daytime heat, over cool nights
- requires a frame, and anchoring in strong winds
- row covers, allow for watering and avoiding over-heating
- especially useful in early spring, can be vented once warmer
- double plastic or “bubblewrap” provides better heat retention