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Planning Your Garden


What kind of space do you have? (raised garden beds, balcony, containers)

How much light does it get? (south-facing=most sun)

What materials do you have/need?

  • find ways to recycle and share materials (ie. lumber & soil; wood chips from the city)

  • we got huge $3 bags of good soil & manure from LawnBoy Landscaping at Cambie & Marine Dr

  • need to borrow some tools? Check out the Tool Library

Choosing Your Seed



  • what you like to eat! 

  • time of year (start indoors vs. direct sow, last frost)

  • sunlight and exposure in your garden (identify the shady spots)

  • space (plants that grow up or outwards, can be kept in containers)

  • your time and energy (low vs. high maintenance plants)

  • plants that mature quickly (radishes) or take a whole season (tomatoes)


Cool, hardy plants: lettuce, arugula, kale, leek, broccoli, collards, native edibles

Heat-loving plants: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant

Plants that grow vertically: beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, sunchokes

Indoor Planting


  • not all seeds need to be started indoors, some don’t like to be relocated; refer to handy West Coast Seeds planting chart

  • some seeds need to be pre-soaked, scratched beforehand - read directions on packet

    • plant seeds at a depth 2-3 times the width of the seed (preferably in a pot with drainage)

    • sow tiny seeds on the surface and sprinkle soil on top

    • always give a little water when you’ve planted or transplanted; after, water as needed

    • seeds will germinate/sprout after a week or so

    • once they come up, place in sunny windowsill and water as needed

    • look up when to transplant; you may need to harden plants first (place plants outside for periods of time to prevent shock)



  • transplant when it’s not too cold or hot out

  • dig a hole that’s deep enough to accomodate the plant’s roots

  • gently take out of pot (gently untangle if multiple plants are stuck together), position upright in hole, make sure roots are below ground, fill dirt up to base of plant

  • give it some water (always water at the base of the plant and not the leaves/flowers)


Outdoor Planting


  • planting style varies by plant/gardener; think about plant’s actual size once mature

  • seeds that are planted close together may need to be thinned/transplanted later

  • water in the morning or evening (avoid hottest part of the day)

  • weeding! it can be tedious but you want to give your plants their best chance

  • support vertical growing plants with bamboo sticks or grow on a vertical wall/trellis to save space

  • be aware of pests (white moth, aphids, slugs) & good insects (pollinators, ladybugs), disease


Tips & Ideas






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