How to Grow your own Garden

As we all settle into the new norm and buckle down in our homes, many are looking for different ways to pass the time. For some this includes picking up new hobbies that range from painting and photography to redecorating and cooking. One hobby that seems to be popping up on several social media feeds lately is gardening. Many have channeled their green thumbs and have turned to growing produce in their homes

If starting a garden is something you've always been curious about, but you're not sure where to start, award-winning gardening expert Frankie Ferragine shared his top tips with The Scoop on what you need to successfully grow your own garden in your home.

For someone who has never had a garden before, where do you suggest they start? Is there anything specific that they should be growing first as a newbie?

The key to successful growing is picking the right plant for the right place.

Start by taking a good look at your home, both indoors and outdoors, and decide where you want to grow. Light is the key to growing. The amount of light and time of light you receive during the day will determine what you can grow. The key to successful growing is picking the right plant for the right place. If you do that growing is easy. Full sun is at least six hours of direct sunlight after 11:00 AM. Shade is not darkness but filtered light or morning sun only.

Let's talk indoors vs. outdoors planting. What is the difference and can you walk us through the main things to keep in mind?

Growing outdoors is easier than growing indoors especially for food. Outdoors you benefit from more even light, and you also have Mother Nature who provides humidity and rainfall and great air flow. The greatest benefit for plants outdoors is a warm day and a cool night. Plants like cool nights to improve overall health. You can grow indoors but a plant in a pot indoors is totally dependent on you. Indoor plants mean you need to be a plant parent vs outdoor plants who have help from Mother Nature.

If you live in a small space like a condo, your outdoor area would typically be a balcony. What is your advice on how to create a garden if you have limited real estate?

Small pots look nice on Instagram pictures but the truth is they dry out fast and die quickly

Small pots look nice on Instagram pictures but the truth is they dry out fast and die quickly, do a few nice large pots instead of a whole bunch of little ones. They will not blow over as much and you will not need to water as often.

With many stores currently closed and moving their businesses online, what are some of your favourite retailers for gardening supplies and what tools should we be stocking up on?

My favourite online plant store direct from the grower is DiggitGardens.com (opening soon) and my favourite online garden centre is Garden Gallery (they offer curbside pickup). I love Amazon for tools and garden gadgets as well as Lee Valley. For indoor gardeners my favourite indoor growing system is ClickandGrow.com.

With the spring/summer season upon us, what are things we should expecting in terms of the warmer temperature? Anything we should particularly keep in mind?

Watch out for Jack Frost - temperatures can dip below zero degrees Celsius in the spring and when they do, they often can harm or kill tomatoes, peppers and squash. Sunny, breezy days equal dry days - plants will need water. For outdoor gardens, the best time to water is in the morning. Indoor Gardeners remember the number one way people kill plants is over-watering! Water when dry!

Frank Ferragine AKA “Frankie Flowers” is arguably Canada’s most popular and trusted, award-winning gardening expert and weatherman. He is a four-time best selling author, consultant, garden writer, social media strategist, philanthropist and probably his favourite role, a husband and father of two boys.

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