Newfoundland Summer Staycation Gardening Adventures

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There’s nothing like the thrill and satisfaction of eating food out of your own garden. Gardening isn’t just about producing food as opposed to buying it, but rather, Newfoundland home gardening is about giving you access to top-quality food that’s not possible to buy.

For example, in the garden here, rhubarb is growing crazy right now, which means fresh rhubarb juice, tasty compote, and out-of-this-world muffins. You could drive to the store and maybe find some rhubarb for sale, but the quality is nowhere close to what you can grow in your home garden, and when it comes to produce, fresh is everything.

You can be eating your rhubarb moments after harvesting it, and if you’re a rhubarb fan, you can pick some fresh every morning.

Not only does eating fresh produce like this win when it comes to taste, but it also wins when it comes to micronutrients and health benefits.

There really is no competition when it comes to eating fresh from your garden compared with picking through the scraps at your local grocery store; Better for the environment, better for your community, and better for you.

Rhubarb Fact: Did you know rhubarb leaves are very high in oxalic acid and should not be eaten?

The Benefits of a Greenhouse or Cold Frame in Newfoundland

Growing our own mixed greens in a simple Newfoundland cold frame
Growing our own mixed greens in a simple Newfoundland cold frame

It’s easy to grow a lot of mixed greens in a small space, and with a greenhouse or simple Newfoundland cold frame, you can start planting early.

When growing microgreens and mesclun mix salad like in the photo above, successive planting is key to ensuring you always have something tasty to eat.

After sewing your seeds and the initial salad starts to grow, sew more seeds weekly. This way, as you cut your first crop, the second one will be coming right behind it.

You’ll be amazed at how much you can grow in a limited space. It’s like an endless sea of green.

Mesclun Salad Harvesting Tip: Cut the leaves with scissors or a knife (do not rip them off the plant) and always use a tool that is clean and sharp. You can wipe down your knife with a little rubbing alcohol before harvesting to ensure the blade is clean before you start.

Pay Attention to What Sprouts in your Newfoundland Greenhouse, Cold Frame, and Garden

Our Surprice Grapevine sprout
Our Surprice Grapevine sprout

Staycation gardening in Newfoundland is full of surprises, but only if you pay attention.

Weeding is a great time to learn about what plants look like in their early stages. Often times when pulling weeds you will find a surprise seedling, like a cherry tomato plant or this grapevine sprout in the photo above that just made its first appearance in the greenhouse today.

If you take your time to enjoy and look around during your Newfoundland summer staycation gardening adventures, you’ll be surprised at what’s growing on.

Keep your Newfoundland Greenhouse Warm with Dark Beach Rocks on the Ground.

Use drak beach rocks to retain heat in your greenhouse
Use drak beach rocks to retain heat in your greenhouse

Give your Newfoundland Greenhouse a boost by including some thermal mass on the floor. By covering the ground of your Newfoundland Greenhouse with dark beach rocks and stones, you will help trap more of the sun’s heat inside.

Your greenhouse can easily be 20 degrees Celcius warmer inside because of the greenhouse effect.

Newfoundland Greenhouse Tip: Be sure to vent your Newfoundland greenhouse or Cold Frame and monitor the temperature inside carefully. On a sunny day, your greenhouse can become way too hot for your plants in no time at all. If you’re not always around to tend to your garden, be sure to leave your greenhouse or cold frame open and vented.

Take your Newfoundland Staycation Garden Seedlings to the Seedling Gym Before Transplant

Leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, and kale can go outside early since they're cold-tolerant plants, but if you've started them in the tropical climate of your greenhouse, you can't just stick them outside without a little training first. It can take up to a week for a plant to adjust to colder mean temperatures, and forcing them to live outside too soon can shock your plant and stunt its growth.
The garden gym, no pain, no gain!

Leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, and kale can go outside early since they’re cold-tolerant plants, but if you’ve started them in the tropical climate of your greenhouse, you can’t just stick them outside without a little training first. It can take up to a week for a plant to adjust to colder mean temperatures, and forcing them to live outside too soon can shock your plant and stunt its growth.

Harden off your Newfoundland seedlings by bringing your plants outside during the day and back inside at night, gradually letting them adjust to the colder temperatures. Create a special outdoor seedling gym area where your seedlings can train outdoors with still some moderate protection from the wind before transplanting them into your outdoor garden patch.

Don’t Let your Staycation Greenhouse get too Crowded

Our Small Rasied Beds for Greens
Our Small Rasied Beds for Greens

At first, your Newfoundland greenhouse may feel sparse and empty, but soon that will change to crowded with plants competing for space. If plants get too crowded, they can’t grow to their full potential.

Be sure to space things out and be prepared to transplant plants out of crowded greenhouse and garden beds. This is always a great time to bring a few plants over to a neighbour for transplanting and a good opportunity to share your love of gardening. Often times it’s a simple act like this that boosts interest in home gardening and helps people realize anyone can produce healthy and tasty food in even the smallest backyard gardens.

Plant Cold Tolerant Plants Outside First

When planning your Newfoundland Staycation Garden, it's best to plant cold-tolerant plants outside first, like rape greens, kale, swiss chard, and mustard before moving to crops that are more affected by the cold like potatoes.

When planning your Newfoundland Staycation Garden, it’s best to plant cold-tolerant plants outside first, like rape greens, kale, swiss chard, and mustard before moving to crops that are more affected by the cold like potatoes.

Perennials like rhubarb and asparagus come up year after year and are usually the first items you’ll eat out of your garden in the spring. Take your time and have fun with your staycation garden. It’s a great way to get outside and the rewards of growing healthy and tasty food in your backyard are numerous.

Do you have a Newfoundland Staycation Garden? Please share some of your Newfoundland Staycation Gardening tips and adventures in the comments below.

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Whale House Guest House offers luxury boutique private suites with outdoor hot tubs overlooking humpback whale feeding grounds. Located next to the east coast trail in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, just 30 min from downtown St. John’s.

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