Sherri Roberts, a professional agrologist, gave a few tips for people looking to do some planting during the May long weekend.

“The key thing you have to remember with gardening is the spring frost dates,” she said. “Normally for this part of the province, May 15th is about when the last spring frost comes.” 

She noted that, while you can plant before the last frost, it comes with risks as most plants are frost-sensitive and would require extra care and attention when planted before May 15th. However, there are exceptions. 

“You could have started earlier with your peas and carrots and beets, lettuce, and spinach because they are cool season crops,” she said. “But things like cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, they’re all real frost-sensitive.”  

She noted that the cool season crops can still be planted this weekend but sooner is better.  

“If you get them in the ground sooner, when it’s cool, they’re going to come up sooner and you’re going to have them producing fruit sooner,” she noted. “Then you’ll be able to have the literal fruits of your labours on your table sooner.”  

Along with fruits and vegetables, a lot of people will be looking at planting their flowers this weekend. 

“I’ve seen a lot of questions online from people asking ‘do I have to replace my potting soil every year’ and my thoughts on that,” she said. “You can refresh it and I would add some organic matter, so bags of composted manure or whatever, and add that so you are adding nutrients.”  

She added that every time you water a potted plant, nutrients will escape through the holes in the bottom so nutrients need to be added regularly.  

“What’s even better is by adding large amounts of organic matter, you’re increasing that pot or that soil's ability to retain moisture and nutrients, so then you don’t have to water as often.”  

She also added that, in town, watering can create its own issues because residents are generally using chlorinated water, which isn’t always the best for plants.  

“It really makes a difference, particularly when you are dealing with stuff in pots because that chlorine can build up in there and they can have a chlorine toxicity.” 

However, Roberts was quick to note to have fun while gardening, do what makes you happy, and enjoy the fruits of your labour.