If you’ve ever wanted to try starting a veggie garden, here’s a basic guide on how and when to start.

Pick your seeds

A pretty obvious first step is choosing your plants. Go with your favourites and then add in some hard-to-find ones that cost a little more in the produce section. Try and look for variations that are hearty and have an early harvest date-a key in Canada’s often fluctuating and short growing season.

Planting calendar

Depending on where you live will determine when you need to plant your seeds. You’ll be starting your garden indoors, and the general rule is you plant 6 weeks before the last frost comes in your area. Make sure you check your veggie’s specific planting date so you’re not too early or late. Start them off in a seed starter pack (available at most home and garden stores) or use egg cartons or toilet paper rolls.

Pick a good location

The top three things you need are the sun, soil and stability. Whether you’re planting in a yard or a box on a balcony, make sure the spot gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Good, soft soil enriched with compost will ensure the roots are able to grow easily and provide nutrients. Also, make sure that there is proper drainage. Choose a spot that won’t flood or dry out easily, or where strong winds could come through and blow all your young plants away.

Proper care

The first step when you’re ready to plant is spacing your crops out properly to make sure your veggies have room to grow. Some plants will need more space depending on how they grow and how many times they’re likely to produce crops. Stay on top of how you’re watering your plants, so it’s not too much or too little.