Food tastes better when it comes fresh from the garden, and growing your own vegetables is easy and delicious! Belgian grows over 80 varieties of vegetables – that’s over 30,000 individual plants! From February through April we are busy seeding thousands of pots, with the best selection being ready for purchase in May. Many varieties sell out by Victoria Day weekend, so if you’re looking for specific vegetables it’s a good idea to come by earlier! From January to August you can find our full seed selection, including an array of vegetables and herbs. Select seed varieties are available year-round, and seed potatoes and onion bulbs are available in March and April.
Vegetables need a bright, sunny location to reach their full flavour and yield (harvest), so plan your garden, raised beds, and planters accordingly. Preparing your soil before planting will help your plants stay strong and healthy, and will save you time and effort later in the season. Once the weather permits, you can sow seeds directly into your gardens and pots, or use garden-ready plants. Remember to water, weed, check for pests and disease, and most of all have patience – the harvest will be worth the wait!
When to plant your vegetables outside depends on the possibility of frost and the type of vegetable you’re growing. It is generally safe to plant around the 20th of May, but we recommend you cover them if there is a chance of frost after this date.
Most vegetables CANNOT TOLERATE FROST or cold temperatures below 6°C!
Some vegetables grow best when directly seeded outside in slightly cooler weather, including peas, beans, beets, radishes, lettuce, and spinach. Other vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash are best started indoors then planted outside after the threat of frost has passed. For varieties that mature quickly, such as lettuce, beans, and peas, try “succession planting” by sowing a new crop every few weeks to further extend your harvest.
Having trouble getting your kids to eat their vegetables? Get them in the garden! Studies show that kids are more open to eating foods they grow themselves. Choose varieties that are easy to grow and perfect for snacking fresh from the soil: snap peas, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, even strawberries! They’ll be fascinated watching pumpkins and squash transform before their eyes, and they can “dig for treasure” when it’s time to harvest the beets and potatoes. It’s fun and educational for everyone!
Belgian also carries a selection of perennial fruits and vegetables in our Perennial Centre. Rhubarb and asparagus transplants become available every spring; plant them once for a harvest that gets bigger and better with each passing year! Berry bushes are also available to provide you with fresh strawberries, raspberries, grapes, blueberries, and blackberries for all your jams, pies, and snacking needs! We also have strawberries in hanging baskets, making berry picking easy and fun! Belgian does not carry fruit trees (such as apples, pears, etc.) but we do have an assortment of Citrus plants, including Lemons and Limes, in the Tropical House, as well as edible Figs when they are available.