May 17, 2023

Garden Guide

Planning and tending to a garden is a year-long adventure. I love it, but other than a few months of winter, there really is no off season. Whether you’re planning your crops, prepping your garden space, or starting a few plants from seeds, there is plenty to do all year. And that’s not to mention cooking from your bounty! I’ve been tending the Ely Hilltop Garden for long enough now that I have learned some tips and tricks, so I wanted to put together a garden guide that I’ll add to as the year goes on so you can enjoy the fun of gardening along with me.

Garden Kale Salad with Ginger Carrot Dressing

Planning Your Garden

If you’re looking for a go-to resource, for all things gardening, I recommend the University Of Minnesota Extension office vegetable garden guide. It’s an invaluable resource for preparing your garden and choosing the plants that are right for you. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Most of Minnesota is in plant hardiness zone 3-4, which means you need to choose vegetables that will grow in our climate. Ely is further north, so you may be able to grow a few different things in the metro and southern MN.
  • Always grow for your space. There is no garden too big or too small, but make sure you space your plants accordingly and make note of the amount of sunlight and moisture.
  • Some of your plants can be started indoors as early as February to get an early start.

Planting Your Garden

I like to spend a May weekend at the cabin planting my garden. There are plenty of veggies, that will thrive on this timeline, but take note of some of the different timing. Again, the U of M is a great resource and has a wonderful chart.

Make sure your soil is in good shape (you can do a soil test) and follow the instructions for planting depth and spacing. And don’t forget to mark your plants so you remember where everything is as the growing season gets underway. It can be hard to tell sometimes, especially early on!