Essential tips for planning your garden goals in the Yukon

Posted by Aiden McRae on

Winter is a special time to reflect, research and plan for the upcoming growing season


kale; brassica; vegetables; greens; gardening; hobby gardening

Photo credit: Aiden McRae

You know how it goes—it seems as though winter will never end, and then suddenly, the snow is gone, the ground is thawed, and it’s time to get outside and prepare for planting. This year, the YukonGrow team wants you to feel confident and prepared ahead of time so that you can enjoy more time growing and doing all of the things that you love to do in the Yukon. 

 soil; soil amendment; seedlings; sprouting; seed starting; hobby gardening

Photo credit: Neslihan Gunaydin

Remembergrowing vegetables, flowers, trees and plants is one of the most natural, fulfilling and beneficial activities that exists. Growing is good for you, and it’s good for the planet; and if you have never grown before, this is your time to shine! Growing in the Yukon is extra rewarding and necessary to enhance our local food systems. Every growing plant counts towards better food security and a healthier environment.

In this blog post we will share some tips and tricks for hobby gardeners, beginner gardeners and growing enthusiasts to plan for the season ahead. Plus, at the end of this article, we will share some of our premier living soil and grow amendment products that are ideal for kick-starting the gardening season.

  1. Reflect on last season

 The growing season happens in a blur. It’s a good practice to keep records of the crops you planted and when you planted them. Make notes about how each plant or crop performed over time. You may want to consider a few of the following questions: 

Which plants grew best? Which plants struggled to grow?

It may also be important to make note of the weather conditions. Approximately how much water and heat could have affected the plant growth? What kind of soil did you use, and did you apply any amendments?

Don’t worry if you didn’t record these details last year. Consider treating yourself to a nice new notebook with the intention of using it for this coming season!

notebook; planning; garden planning; hobby gardening

Photo credit: Aaron Burden/Unsplash  

  1. Research

Use your notes, reflections and observations to focus on the plants and crops that excite you the most. Is there a particular type of tomato, carrot, or green you would like to grow more successfully? 

Or perhaps you would like to plant flowers that are best for pollinators, or will bloom longest? Take time to learn more about different varieties. Visit our website’s Sharing is Caring section to connect with local gardeners and experts for advice about growing in the Yukon and many learning resources.

  1. Plan

Photo credit: Eco Warrior Princess/Unsplash

Now for the fun part: browse seed catalogues and garden magazines (online or print) to get ideas about what you would like to grow. It can be tempting to purchase all kinds of varieties of your favourite plants and vegetables! It is wise to choose varieties that are adapted to our northern growing conditions. There may also be local seed exchanges to participate in. 

In addition to the main seeds you choose, you may wish to choose 1-3 unusual varieties that you’re excited about—consider it an experiment! 

Make your selections with a rough estimate of how much seed you will need, including surplus seed in case you need to re-sow some crops.

You may also want to sketch out your garden beds, boxes or other growing areas on a sheet of graphing paper, or in your garden notebook. Keep in mind crop rotation, watering and lighting needs. 

  1. Prepare your growing area

This is when the real magic begins. Before you can sow seeds, you must prepare your growing area. Whether it is a series of growing pots and containers, raised beds, or a garden plot, there are many ways to prepare your growing area. For starters, visit our Growing 101 to learn about our soil building philosophy. 

gardening; garden; hobby garden; flowers; pollinators; soil; soil health; living soil

Photo credit: Aiden McRae 

  1. Explore YukonGrow Soil Services and Products

Finally, if you need additional advice, YukonGrow founder Michel Duteau offers expert soil testing, interpretation and advising services to assist you in understanding soil conditions and how to improve them for optimal performance. Feel free to get in touch with us if you’re interested in a consultation. 

Explore YukonGrow products that will help you to hit the ground running. Check out our living soils, compost, biochar and amendments that are adapted to our Yukon conditions. 

soil; living soil; soil amendments; gardening; compost; manure

Photo: Aiden McRae/YukonGrow

 WE PROMISED: Here are a few of our premier products to kick-start your growing season

Worm Castings is a customer favourite! Earthworm castings (vermicompost) are the organic waste that earthworms produce as they consume organic matter. Castings from earthworms are nutrient rich and biologically active.
Click here for more on this product.

Biochar is our first choice for boosting plant growth and a game-changer for the future of growing food in the Yukon. Biochar is a carbon-rich material that helps to hold essential nutrients and water, activates nutrient exchange between the soil and growing plants, and can effectively remain in the soil for centuries to millennia.
Click here for more on this product.
Our series of gardening blends are perfect for vegetables, herbs and flowers and are adapted to your specific grow conditions and practices (open-garden, raised bed, or basket and container gardening).
Click here for more on these products.


Stay tuned for future blog posts! We will share more tips for preparing your soil using different products and practices as we gear up for the growing season.

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