British Columbia

Gardening is hot with millenials right now, says master gardener

Master gardener Brian Minter says gardening has caught on big with millennials.

Amateur horticulturists are heading into backyards, says Brian Minter

The summer planting season is just getting going, says master gardener. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

When it comes to the planting season, British Columbia typically leads the country in warmer temperatures.

But master gardener Brian Minter says the hotter weather being enjoyed in the Lower Mainland is now spreading across Canada. And an army of amateur horticulturists are heading into backyards, trowels in hand.

"I can't get over, talking to our industry right across the board, the increasing enthusiasm. Particularly from millennials," said Minter during an episode of BC Today.

Minter said more and more, he's seeing young people become interested in gardening, largely because they want to grow their own food.

He said he often comes across first-time gardeners who are concerned they've started planting too late in the year.

But he stressed that "Canada gardening time" is just getting going and there's no rush.

Focus on soil

As we approach a consistent nighttime temperature of 10 degrees, a lot of vegetables will begin to flourish, he said.

Peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and eggplant will all start doing very well this time of year as well, he said.

"This is kind of the kick off time for that. But I would like to caution everyone there's no urgency at all. There's a long summer left ahead of us."

Rather than worry about missing your chance to plant, Minter said gardeners should instead focus on their soil.

Soil preparation is absolutely key, he said. If your soil isn't good quality, your plants can often not get enough water.

"Already people are bringing me leaves of trees that are actually burnt. Simply because the planting hole was dug in not very good soil."

To get that crucially rich soil, Minter recommends mixing your earth with compost and other organic matter.

If the soil is properly enriched, it will take less water to keep the plant healthy once the roots have taken, he said.

Also, always water in the morning to avoid mildew on your vegetables.

"Having wet foliage in the nighttime is the beginning of a problem."

With files from BC Today