Adapted in English by Valérie Harnois

What is better than eating pasta with basil pesto, a bacon sandwich with tomatoes and lettuce, or even a homemade vegetable soup? Eating it when you have grown the food yourself.

As early as March, you can start growing vegetables and fruits indoors. Sowing your plants inside allows for an earlier start, which will give your plants enough time to produce their crop before the cold October days. 

Gardeners across the world have created calendars to inform people when to start indoors and outdoors sowing, when to move the plants outside, and when to harvest. For example, according to experienced gardeners, tomatoes should be sown indoors between the end of March and mid-April. This is 6 weeks before transplanting them outside. For carrots, they should be sown directly outside around mid-May. Many online calendars exist. When choosing one, it is important to choose one that represents the region where the garden will be grown. The Green Pages offers an interesting calendar to that effect. 

Of course, it is also possible to buy plants that are ready to put in the garden.

When deciding to make a garden, you must consider the following elements: your needs, the space you have, and the time and energy that you wish to dedicate to the project. When gardening as a hobby, most often, you will choose plants according to your preferences. People tend grow food they like to eat and flowers they find pretty. Then, you must verify that the plants you chose can actually grow in your environment and region. Many websites, books and gardening centres can provide this type of information. For instance, you will learn that it is difficult to grow corn in a pot on the balcony. Also, considering that one corn plant usually yields only two ears of corn, it is a lot of energy for little results. A cherry tomato plant might be more interesting to grow on the balcony since it yields a lot of tomatoes. It is also important to plan for help if you intend on leaving your house for a long period of time. If you leave on vacation, you should ask someone to take care of the garden while you are away.

If there is a lot of room for the garden, many different types of plants can be sown. In this case, you should organize your garden. Plants have different heights, lengths, and needs. Planning ahead will ensure that your plants have everything they need and do not impair other plants growth. For example, plants have different heights, planning will ensure that some plants do not cause unwanted shade to others.

You should also pay attention to the preparation of the soil so it is ready to receive the plants. 

It is therefore important to get all the information needed before starting. The success of a garden depends on many elements and the attention given to each. (The table below will be useful if you choose to start a garden). Despite all the efforts, nature is sometimes capricious. Taking notes of your experience and results will allow you to improve your garden with the years. Nonetheless, the pride you will feel when eating food you have grown yourself will definitely be reason enough to start again next spring. 

Happy gardening!

To do list:
1. Choose the plants you want to grow. 
2. Consider the space, time, and energy you wish to dedicate to this hobby.  
3. Get the information on the chosen plants.  
4. Get the materials: seeds, tools, and soil.  
5. Sow at the right moment.
6. Observe, water, weed, note the changes.  
7. Harvest and savour.  

Ton défi

Preparing a meal with our own harvest remains the ultimate gardening goal. To do so, search the Web to find recipes that include the food you would like to grow. You can create a little recipe book with Book Creator or organize a bookmark section in your Web browser that will compile your favourite recipes.

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