Sharing what we planted in our Zone 3 vegetable garden this year.
Hello my friends! It’s time again for another instalment of our cozy living series, hosted by my friend Jennifer at Town & Country Living. I always look forward to seeing the cozy inspiration that everyone has to share each month!
With the world spending most of their time at home right now, I think we’re all looking for ways to make our homes feel cozier and all this extra time within them as enjoyable as we can. Thankfully, with the warm + sunny weather of Summer rolling in, our time at home can move outside the walls the of our homes now as well, into the outdoor spaces that surround us. We’re so lucky to have a big yard to play, garden + relax in. And we’ve got the most beautiful forests, with miles of trails to run, hike + bike right out our front door. We’ve got rivers + lakes just minutes away and the Rocky Mountains are just a hop, skip and jump for us to explore. Though I know we’ll miss all of the exciting travel plans and adventures we had planned for our Summer, I have no doubt that we’ll find all sorts of wonderful ways to make the most of this quieter Summer, closer to home.
Though it’s impossible to pick just one favourite Summer pastime, one of the things I always look forward to as the warm weather rolls in is gardening. And luckily, it’s one Summer hobby that will totally thrive with all this extra time at home!
For as long as I can remember, my Grandma has always had the most wonderful little patch in her backyard. Every time we’d visit, we’d fill our bellies with all the raspberries and peas we could pick. She’d cook up the most delicious meals with her potatoes, carrots and beans. Then, she’d send us all home with a little care package of extra tomatoes and lettuce and of course, more raspberries.
It’s never been a really big garden, but it’s always provided more than enough for my Gran and the many people she chooses to share it with.
A few years ago, we built and planted our own garden and though I had no idea at all about what I was doing or how to make any plant thrive (or even grow for that matter), I was surprised at how much joy it brought me.
Knowing that I had a hand the creation of the food I fed to my family, through every step of its journey, from planting the seeds to nourishing its growth was such a rewarding experience. And the time that I spent tending to it all – whether that was a quiet moment to myself or getting my hands dirty with Carson – made up those simple, yet special everyday moments that Summer memories are made of.
Last year, we built a new garden (I shared the tutorial for it here). One that was larger, higher and enclosed (to keep the dog out). We created a whole new garden area around it, moving the shed closer to the action, laying pea gravel all around the are and even adding some pretty hanging baskets. I’m SO thrilled with how it all came together! It’s become my favourite little corner of our yard!
Enjoying a quiet coffee out on the back patio with the sprinkler watering away in the background is one of my very favourite ways to start my day. And I love taking a few minutes each evening to check in with all of my plants – see what’s grown and changed, maybe even pull a few weeds while I’m out there.
Honestly, gardening is one of the most relaxing and rewarding Summer hobbies for me. I find myself looking forward to it more + more with each Summer.
Now, we have a pretty short growing season here in Northern AB. We are in gardening zone 3B, which means we’re more limited in what we can grow thanks to our colder Winters and shorter growing season. Though we get more hours of daylight than climates South of us, we’ve got just a few short months to take advantage of them before Winter rolls back in.
I had my seeds ordered months ago so that I could get planting just as soon as the risk of frost had passed.
I spent hours planning out my garden space – making sure to move things around a bit, while maximizing sunlight for each plant. I started with a list of all of the things I wanted to grow this year.
Wanting to branch out even more this year, I also started some research into companion planting (I found this to be such a helpful guide). After hours of planning, here’s where I ended up:
One sunny weekend in late May, with the risk of frost behind us (well, mostly anyway), I got to work – turning the soil, mixing in some fertilizer, and planting my seeds. I waited another couple of weeks to plant the ones I’d picked up at the greenhouse just in case another cold night passed through – a frosty night could harm any plants above ground, but any still under the dirt would likely be fine. I planted my squash, zucchini, carrots, peas, lettuce, potatoes, onions, beets and herbs by seed. There are some plants that won’t produce if they aren’t started earlier, so I usually pick these up from the greenhouse: tomatoes, celery, cucumber, and peppers.
Last week, I was able to tuck the last of my plants safely into the garden too. And now, it’s just a matter of watching, waiting (and lots of watering of course) to see what happens.
Maybe it’s the time teaching and learning with Carson, or the promise of a few quiet moments to myself, maybe it’s the challenge + reward of growing our very own food, or perhaps it’s just the nostalgia of it all – whatever the reason, planting + growing my own garden is one of my very favourite things about Summer.
Are you planting a vegetable garden this year? I’d love to hear what you’re growing!
Now, don’t forget to check out the other cozy living ideas my friends are sharing below:
Wishing you SUCH a lovely day my friends!