Learning Gardening Lessons On The Prairies

[twitter]I still remember my first spring in Calgary. The weather was warm through March and April and I went down to the garden centre to ask some advice on getting my garden started.

“Oh honey,” she smiled. “You don’t plant things around here until May long weekend. Maybe.”

I didn’t believe her. I grew up in Vancouver where cherries blossom in February. The warm weather encouraged me to dig out the back end of our yard and get started on a garden. I wanted the boys to nurse seedlings along and have a bounty of vegetables that they grew themselves.

digging up the garden

A week later, my yard half dug up, it snowed. So I heeded the warning and waited.


When the May long weekend rolled around and Zacharie and I planted our heart’s full. Cucumbers, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, and more.

My garden has vegetables

And then it snowed on May 30. I scrambled to the garage to find empty Rubbermaid bins to try and protect my crop.

more snow

That was 5 years ago and THIS summer I vowed to try again because I got the opportunity to join the Scotts Gro Crew. Can I avoid being a complete #gardenfail?

The good news is that Scotts Miracle-Gro has equipped me with a variety of products for lawn and garden to test out this season so I am well on my way to finding my inner green thumb and humblebragging #IGrewIt!

The boys have outgrown their sandbox, and we’re replacing it with a proper raised garden bed. I’ll spend the next week building, planning, and staring at the weather forecast. Only when the last frost has thawed will I start planting.

As part of the Scotts Gro Crew I can tap into those with more experience. I fired off some questions to help with my planning.

Scotts Grow Crew

The boys have seen some seedling kits at the store, Are those okay?

At this time of year it’s probably easier to purchase seedling that are ready to transplant from your local garden centre. You can also start growing your seeds indoors and move them outside to your raised bed if you have available space indoors.

You can plant vegetables that have a different harvest schedule. Generally, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and cucumbers will be ready earlier (during the summer), while heartier vegetables (like carrots) are ready in the fall.

Once I get the raised garden bed built, what kind of soil do I use?

For in-ground gardens we recommend using Scotts Miracle-Gro Potting Mix; however, for raised beds we would recommend a potting mix, like Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix .

A Scotts Gro Crew Tip: Potting mix can be used anywhere, however, garden soil can only be used for in-ground gardens.

Which Scotts products should I use throughout the growing season?

This will depend on what project you are planning for the summer. We recommend reviewing the Scotts Lawn & Garden guides to see which Scotts Miracle-Gro products work best for your summer projects. The guides are a great resource to help you plan your space and outlines what to consider when first getting started.

All set with my materials, I started planning out my garden layout. My friend Reine has created a beautiful journal that you can download. It helps you plan and plot your garden, understand what to plant when, and keep track of which strategies work best.

The Seed - A Garden Journal

So I’ve got a bit of time to gather all this up before May long. This year there will be no big #gardenfail. I will go from #gardenfail to #IGrewIt.

Want to get started on your backyard planting planning for this year? Tell me about your biggest #gardenfail and you could win a Scotts Miracle-Gro package to get you down the gardening path and help you to brag #IGrewIt.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The prize package includes: Weed Be Gon 5l with Wand, Turf Builder Start Lawn Food, Home Defense Max Ant Trap, Home Defense Max Ant Glue Traps, Flower Magic Multicolour Mix, 2015 Product Guide, $50 Home Depot Gift Card, and a Scotts Miracle-Gro Blanket.

The contest is only open to Canadians. The prize will be delivered to the winner by Scotts or their agents, and must be accepted as awarded. The winner will be chosen by random via Raffelcopter.

Please DO NOT use contest only Twitter accounts for social sharing. If you genuinely want to win a prize, be genuine about sharing the opportunity. 

So go ahead, tell me about your #gardenfail in the comments below and win!

Disclosure: This branded content appears in exchange for a donation to Team Diabetes Canada.

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