Have you ever heard of slow gardening? This concept was inspired by the slow food counterculture movement. In a nutshell, gardeners are invited to take a passive approach to their vegetable garden to let nature take its course and observe it in action. To achieve this, gardeners are still required to think about a few things and set up optimized conditions, but rest assured, it’s completely attainable!
The first concept to keep in mind when creating an inspiring and vibrant garden worthy of the slow gardening trend is the hardiness zone. Essentially, Natural Resources Canada classifies different cities according to their heat levels and assigns them a rating. Pay attention to this code on plant and seedling labels in nurseries to ensure that a particular plant or tree will live well in your home. By making sure to group together plants and shrubs that can exist in their natural state, you are putting the odds in your favour for a good harvest.
To welcome their future plants, lazy gardeners must first create an inviting environment for all components of their vegetable garden. The goal is to attract pollinators and keep pests away.
Bees, ladybugs, and butterflies are all pollinators. As they forage for food, they move pollen from one plant to another, allowing plants to reproduce and grow fruits and vegetables. The best way to attract them? Flowers! Flowering shrubs are an even better option, since bees prefer to visit one type of flower at a time. Feel free to add flower pots near your garden to encourage pollinator traffic and add a touch of bright summer colours to your landscape. Our suggestions for easy-to-care-for varieties include lilac, marigold, and daylily.
If possible, consider adding conifer trees to your landscape to attract insect-eating birds that will eat the pests. Repellent plants such as dill, mint, and basil will also help to scare away any unwanted small mammals. If space is restricted, hang up some see-through covers to protect your plants while letting the light through, and install an insect hotel nearby to promote biodiversity in your garden. Several models exist – they all involve creating an environment where pollinators can reproduce and support your plants
Once your ecosystem is ready for your plants, start planting your favourite vegetable and fruit varieties. While you might want to focus on vegetable patch classics like tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce, don’t hesitate to try out other varieties for great discoveries! Swiss chard (great as a spinach alternative), eggplant (add it to your best Japanese recipes) and wild artichoke (delicious roasted in the oven with white wine) are all examples of lesser-known, easy-to-grow plants.
To complete your garden space, consider including fruit in your layout. Raspberries and strawberries will grow well in most areas, but you could also plant a fruit tree such as a plum or pear tree; they are surprisingly low maintenance. These plants will add a whole new dimension to your garden and give your outdoor landscape a truly captivating twist. Not to mention that they will yield delicious fruit that can be preserved later in the year.
For more gardening tips, come and meet our employees and retailers. They are there to help you!