Create a home garden in 10 steps

Créez un potager familial en 10 étapes

With the health situation and economic situation, many people feel a great need to move towards greater food self-sufficiency and to return to the essence of food by growing their own vegetables.

If you also want to harvest lettuce and fresh tomatoes this summer, you will first need to prepare the soil of your vegetable garden before you sow or plant anything. Here are 10 steps to follow to prepare your vegetable garden, and so obtain an abundance of tasty vegetables !

1. Have your vegetable garden in a sunny well-lit spot

The culture of vegetables should be done in the sun, away from the roots of mature trees. Although some edible plants happen to grow in semi-shade, most vegetables require six hours of sunshine. In addition, the presence of a hedge or conifers of the north-western side of the garden is an asset to protect vegetable crops against the ravages of the prevailing winds.

2. Scale your vegetable garden according to your needs

A vegetable garden can take all kinds of forms and aspects. However, a vegetable garden that is square or rectangular in shape and is usually more easy to incorporate into most courses.

An area of approximately 36 square meters (400 square feet), or 6 m over 6 m (20 ft x 20 ft) is generally sufficient to grow almost all the vegetables that feed a family of four people from the late spring until the fall.

It might be very useful to make a sketch on paper or on the computer of your future vegetable garden and have vegetables you want to grow. This will allow you to plant the plants that you really need.

3. Remove the sod

It is obviously necessary to remove the grass which covers the surface of the soil where you want to install your garden. As it is difficult to tear out a lawn completely dry, water thoroughly the day before where you will do the work. In order to take off easily, the pieces of lawn from the soil, it is necessary to cut the roots of the grass to about 2 cm from the base of the grass blades using a cut-edge or a shovel-spade perfectly sharp.

However, if the area of your new vegetable garden is particularly impressive, you can also perform all this work using a machine to dégazonner specially designed for this purpose. We find this type of machine into the rental centers and tooling.

4. Shape of the planks of culture wide and deep

Boards of culture, wide, deep, raised beds allow you to garden plants to root deeply, which improves their ability to draw up water and nutrients, thus increasing the production of vegetables significantly.

A vegetable garden should be made up of distinct parts, or locations dedicated to the cultivation of plants and the aisles are useful to the passage of the gardeners. The places where vegetables are grown are called boards of culture.

In order that the garden plants have deep roots and they have a maximum output, the boards of culture should be broad, deep and elevated. Each plate can measure about 90 cm (3 feet) width – in order to have easy access to the centre to be able to weed, fertilize and harvest on a variable length. On the other hand, the depth of loose soil on the spread of culture should reach between 40 and 45 cm (16 “to 18”).

To shape a board, it is necessary to loosen the existing soil using a shovel-spade or a motobêcheuse – rent in a rental center, tooling a model in which the blades are located behind the wheels – up to a depth of 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 inches), then add a quantity of loose earth, dug up in the aisles, about 15 cm (6 inches) in height. By adding finally a thickness of 5 cm (2 inches) of compost to the surface of the plate, we obtain a total depth of earth personalty ranging up to 45 cm (18 inches).

Finally, make sure that the aisles are located between the boards are narrow – aisles being not more than 30 cm (12 inches) in width allow you to leave a maximum of space for the plants – and cover with a thick layer of mulch in order to avoid having to weed constantly. The boards of culture, they will not be covered by mulch.


Here is the plan a small vegetable garden with varieties of vegetables ancestral original and colourful that will certainly inspire you.

1. Eggplant Turkish Orange”

2. Beet ” Bull’s Blood “

3. Carrot ‘ Red Cored Chantenay “

4. Kale ” Red Russian “

5. Onion-egyptian

6. Lettuce ” Big Blonde Lazy “

7. Melon ” Oka “

8. Pepper ” Corno di Toro Giallo “

9. Radish ‘ Breakfast-French “

10. Tomato ” Black Cherry “, ” Green Zebra “, “Marmande” and “Yellow Pear” (staked)

5. Add compost and fertilizer

For fertilizing edible plants, it is best to opt for a fertilizer of natural origin certified by certification bodies bio recognized such as eco-cert and OMRI.

It is very rare that the soil of a field is bad to the point where it is necessary to change it. The amount of time, energy and money invested in this type of change is often disproportionate relative to the desired results. Even the sandy soils and the soils more clay can become in some lands of quality suitable for the cultivation of most vegetables.

To get a good earth, it is necessary to add compost to the existing soil. The compost is an exceptional product that has very beneficial effects on soil and plants. Since it is rich in humus, compost lightens, loosens and aerates clay often heavy and compact. In this way, it regulates the water retention of these soils. In the sandy land, the humus increases water retention and nutrients, which has the effect of slowing down erosion, and leaching.

If you don’t make your own compost, you can use a compost business sold in bags. The manure of cattle composted CIL Biomax – the only compost certified by the CQA – is the one that I recommend. Apply a thickness of about 5 cm (2 inches) of compost on the soil surface of each of the boards of culture of your vegetable garden, which is approximately three bags of compost from 15 kg per square meter.

Fertilization is not absolutely essential to the health and vigour of the majority of edible plants. In general, the nutrient needs of most edible plants are satisfied by a simple annual application of compost. However, edible plants that are particularly voracious, such as eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes, for example, may require to be fertilized.

In addition to a good dose of compost, a fertilizer with natural slow-release nitrogen rich and potassium – the formulation of which approximates 5-3-8 – allows garden plants to have better growth and produce more vegetables.

As this type of fertilizer releases over a period of up to 120 days, must be provided only once during the season, ideally in may or early June. At the time of the plantation of fruit-vegetables, provide about 60 to 90 ml (two to three handfuls) of this fertilizer per plant or approximately 1 kg per 10 square metres of floor area.

Since their introduction to the horticultural market in north american a few years ago, the products of mycorrhizae have high popularity with gardeners and urban farmers. And for good reason, since when added to the soil, mycorrhizal fungi improve the growth and development of the edible plants dramatically.

It is also advantageous to use a mychorrizal fungi when planting edible plants. The mycelium of mycorrhizal fungi attaches to plant and acts as an extension of their root system, allowing them to better supply water and nutrients, thus flowering and fruiting is more abundant. We must simply put a small handful of mycorrhiza near the roots of plants at the time of their planting.

A shovel-spade sharp is the ideal tool to loosen the soil of the boards of culture of a vegetable garden.

Finally, you need to incorporate the compost and fertilizer to the land of the boards with a shovel-spade or using a motobêcheuse. Once the compost well mixed with the soil, the final level of each plank should ideally exceed the height of the aisles of about 20 cm (8 inches). Finally, you can flatten the surface of each plate culture, and compress slightly the sides – that will be a slight grade, with the help of a rake.

And here it is ! You are now ready to plant !


The wood is the material most prized for the manufacture of trays of the vegetable, but it has the disadvantage of rotting quickly in contact with the earth. Choose the cedar or the oak, two tree species known for their resistance to rot, and make sure you cover the inner part of the walls with extruded polystyrene or with a geotextile membrane.

Many people grow vegetables in the open ground, but, if you do not have access to a parcel of land or if the soil of your land is of poor quality, or worse, if it is contaminated, you can grow your herbs and vegetables in bins raised.

To make the walls of a tray garden, it is possible to use wood, but it is certainly more convenient to opt for a material that is rot-proof as a wood composite, stone, or steel plates. Do not hesitate also to retrieve some materials for the manufacture of your tray, such as bales of straw, branches of trees plaited or very old concrete blocks, for example. These reclaimed materials add charm and originality to your container garden while significantly lowering the cost of its construction.

6. Choose vegetables easy to grow

The vegetables are easiest to grow are without doubt the vegetables whose leaves are eaten. So, if you are on your first experience, opt for the culture of the chard, the spinach, the kale and the lettuce. On the other hand, most root vegetables, such as carrots and beets, as well as peas and beans – dwarf or climbing – provide excellent crops, and usually require little care.

You may also want to grow a few tomatoes in your first vegetable garden. Choose productive cultivars, and little affected by diseases, such as ” Celebrity “, Profi-FruttiTM “Cherry” and ” Sungold “, for example. A few tomato plants indeterminate – three to five – will produce enough tomatoes for a family of four people. It is recommended to have a little more experience before joining eggplants and peppers in a garden since it is two plants particularly challenging.

Finally, in addition to the basil and coriander that are known to be plant capricious, the majority of herbs can be grown easily in the company of most vegetables. Don’t forget finally to incorporate flowers that produce nectar in abundance in order to attract the pollinating insects in your vegetable garden. In addition, some of these flowers, such as nasturtiums, the marigold, sunflowers and marigolds, for example, are quite edible !

7. Plant at the right time

It is possible to plant some edible plants yourself, for the sake of economy or… simply for the pleasure of seeing them sprout and grow ! In some cases, it is less expensive than buying plants in pots in a garden centre, and it gives results just as interesting.

The majority of herbs, leaf vegetables and root vegetables can be sown directly in the ground outside, towards the end of April and may, according to the regions. As for the beans and most of the cucurbits (cucumbers and squash), seeds can be sown outside in mid-may.

However, it is unthinkable to sow eggplants, peppers or tomatoes outside at the end of may or June and expect to get a harvest interesting before the fall ! In this case, it’s necessary to make a sowing to the inside, under artificial light type LED, six to eight weeks before the exit to the outside.

The ideal period for the planting of the seedlings of vegetables of tropical origin such as eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes corresponds to the time when all risk of frost is practically non-existent in your region. Ottawa, Montreal, and in several municipalities located in the south-west of Quebec, this occurs towards the end of the month of may, usually after the 20. In the Laurentides, the Québec city region and eastern Quebec, you must usually wait for the very end of may or the beginning of June to perform this operation.

Don’t forget to acclimate your seedlings to outdoor temperatures before putting them in the earth. This period of hardening needs to start a few days before planting. You just need to place your plants outdoors in the light shade, a little longer each day.

8. Plant with care… and fun !

My aunt and uncle, with whom I learned my trade of gardener, kept telling me often that he must become a child again and have fun to make a good planting in the vegetable garden !

To obtain good crops, the planting of edible plants in a container must be done with care and rigor… while having fun of course !

Before planting, it is important to water the roots of all the edible plants that you are going to plant. If their mound is particularly dry, soak a few minutes in a tray containing a little water.

In dépotant vegetables and herbs, if you realize that their roots are too abundant and that they rotate around the root ball, trim them to a few places using a sharp knife, or secateurs. This operation favors the formation of new healthy roots and well-arranged.

Each plant should be arranged so that its flange where the stem joins the root – is located at the same level as the surface of the soil. In other words, the top of the root ball of the plant should be at the same height as the finished level of the earth of the vegetable garden.

However, it is recommended to plant eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes more hollow than normal. Thus, the collar of each plant can be placed 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) below the level of the surface of the substrate. Then add the soil around the plants and, with the tip of your fingers, tamp the without, however, too compact. Once all the plants are installed, water them thoroughly.

9. Sarclez and weed less, thanks to the green manure

To avoid the growth of weeds, you can plant edible plants so that their leaves touch each other quickly and that no corner of the ground is bare. In addition, it may be beneficial to cultivate various species of edible plants in a same spread of culture, the high at the center and lowest at their feet, in order to cover all the ground. Little exposed to the sun, the seeds of weeds will therefore not have the ability to germinate and grow. Rather than planting the plants in clumps or in rows, instead, opt for a method of planting more natural with a high diversity of plants.

The use of organic mulches made of bark or twigs, shredded, you can restrict the growth of weeds. However, these mulches high in carbon have the disadvantage of limiting the growth of garden plants by depriving them of nitrogen for a period of time, which is why it is best to reserve it for the aisles only.

It is also possible to sow a green manure in a vegetable garden in order to limit the growth of weeds. When you are planting vegetables, tropical demanding in nitrogen, such as tomatoes, for example, don’t hesitate to sow a green manure midsole of their foot. In addition to providing nitrogen to the tomato plants, clover and alfalfa is limiting the growth of weeds and it will not be no need to weed regularly.

On the other hand, when the surface of the soil of a vegetable garden is bare, it is essential to perform regular removal of weeds – a process known as weeding – to prevent that they outcompete the plants for ornamental purposes. Remove the weeds as quickly as possible, do not wait, especially not that they form seed.

The sarcloir looks like a hand with 4 or 5 long claws.

The main tools are the hoe, with a blade that is tapered, and the sarcloir, consisting of hooked teeth. These two tools can be fitted with a long handle or short.

Sharp, the hoe can penetrate easily below the surface of the soil and lift weeds. Unfortunately, it frequently happens that one does not fit sufficiently deep in the ground and cutting the roots of weeds to eliminate. Using the sarcloir, you can avoid this kind of problem, since this tool allows almost sure to extract the weeds without cutting their roots.


The work to be done at the beginning of may

  • Carry out sowing or planting outside of the fine herbs and vegetables and resistant to the cold, such as kale, lettuce, persil, and radishes.
  • Begin planting annual flowers resistant to cold such as the alysses, the snapdragons, pelargoniums, and thoughts.
  • Divide the perennials blooming fall.
  • Spreading compost in the vegetable garden and flowerbeds.
  • Apply compost and a slow-release fertilizer rich in nitrogen on the lawn.
  • Perform the seeding of turf.

10. Water your vegetables

Watering is one of the most complex tasks – and pretty darn important ! – to perform in a vegetable garden.

So your vegetables and fruit are forming deep roots and branched out, it is best to water only once per week, or two, at most, during very hot and dry. However, since they thrive in high humidity and constant, water the plants-vegetable demanding, such as eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes, twice a week, three during a heat wave. If you water a little every day, your plants will produce surface roots and will be less resistant to drought and any other stressful situation. Of course, when you water your garden, you will need to take account of the recent rains.

The best time to make the watering a vegetable garden is certainly early in the morning. Watering when the sun is at the zenith, almost half of the water evaporates within minutes. However, many municipalities have adopted regulations concerning periods of watering that you must respect.

Most of the edible plants exposed to the full sun will require approximately 2.5 to 3.5 cm (1 to 1 ½ inches of water per week. In order to give the dose of adequate water to all your plants, you have to place it under the jet of your watering can toggle an empty container that you have previously calibrated using a ruler and a pencil indelible ink. When you reach the mark at 2.5 or 3.5 cm, stop then spray it.

To avoid contributing to the proliferation of fungal diseases, it is best not to water the foliage of some sensitive plants. The best way to water these plants is to do it by hand with a watering can or using a hose equipped with a spray wand. In the case of tomatoes, it takes about 5 gallons when they are young, the doubles when they are older and less than 5 liters per plant at harvest time.


The installation of an automatic irrigation system has its advantages, if only because it greatly facilitates irrigation and reduces waste.

Irrigation systems that are best suited to most vegetable gardens are certainly the ones that provide the water to drip. These systems are very efficient include drip emitters of small dimensions, which feed the plants in the water very close to their roots, in their leaves, thereby avoiding the losses by evaporation.

These systems are equipped with emitters that can provide from 2 to 9 litres (1/2 to 2 gallons) of water per hour. They are fixed to pipes of small diameter themselves connected to a pipe centrally connected to an exterior faucet. All can be equipped with a timer.

There are also irrigation pipe, usually brown or black in color, the perforated drip emitters protected against the entrance of roots and soil by inserts of copper. Easy to conceal, this hose type is perfectly suited to the irrigation of the boards of culture.

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