By Sid Chaurasia
With winter soon fading to a pleasant memory, warmer weather approaches. Our soil is thawing, the trees are growing tender buds, and the snow and ice are melting, little by little. So once again, we are tasked with answering the same question we ask ourselves every time we spy spring on the near horizon; what should I plant this year?
You could always play safe and put in grass, but sod is so basic, and plus, your beds deserve more. Flowers, like the Ontario classic trilliums, or the longtime favourite, the marigold, are worthy options, but maybe this year you should be more adventurous: vegetables!
The province of Ontario has always been known for its nutrient-rich soil in which many crops prosper. For thousands of years, the Indigenous people of Canada have been growing their own food, and it’s time we took a leaf out of their book. While larger crops, such as corn, potatoes, and wheat may not be feasible in small urban yards, there is still so much you can do.
Tomatoes, such as beefsteak and Roma, are an example of simple produce for the beginner gardener. Sweet peas, though they have a relatively shorter growing season, are always a crowd pleaser due to their easy nature and bountiful yield. Zucchini, which has been cultivated by the Huron for ages, is less fruitful in quantity, but makes up in quality. And last but never least, the chili pepper. While originating from the tropical Americas, the much-loved chili pepper has found its way into all of our gardens and hearts with its many varieties and colours.
Whichever vegetable catches your eye, be sure to treat it with love and care, tend to it, and give it the attention it needs. All your hard work will come back to you in the end, with the fruits of the earth. And really, nobody can turn away from little baby seedlings.