New to YUF? Start Here
New to YUF? Start Here

Thanks for visiting our site and taking the first step in a journey with us to grow your own food and enjoy the freshest and most delicious produce. We’ve put together this guide to help you quickly and simply get started. While each person is unique in their eating preferences, gardening experience, and goals, this guide will help to point you in the right direction in choosing the best solutions to your gardening goals.

What Kind of Edibles Can I Grow?

One of the first questions we typically get asked is What Kind of Edible Plants Can I Grow?

The great news is that there are an almost endless variety of vegetables, herbs, and fruit you can grow. Despite our relatively short outdoor growing season here in Toronto and the GTA, almost all vegetables except for those that thrive in the tropics can be successfully grown.

This includes root vegetables like carrots, beets, and onions, tender salad greens including lettuce, spinach, and arugula, juicy tomatoes, crunchy beans and many more.

When it comes to herbs, basil and chives are two of our most popular herbs. But don’t forget about rosemary, oregano, thyme, and even some more exotic varieites like bay leaves, cumin, and lemongrass.

Fruit is where we have lots of choice including strawberries, peaches, apples, cherries, plums, and a full range of other berries. For a full list of the different varieties of edibles we grow, click on the link below.

Where Should I Plant My Garden?

The next most common questions we get is Where Will The Vegetables Grow?

Generally, there are three main options when it comes to a garden: Raised Beds, Containers, or In-Ground.

Raised Beds come in a range of sizes and allow you to get an instant garden with great results from day one. They can be placed on any flat surface including grass, patios, driveways, decks, and rooftops. Raised beds are not as suited for condo balconies or rooftops unless sufficient structural support is in place.

Containers are the most versatile in terms of colour, size, shape, and design. They can be placed in almost any sunny spot and are portable and easy to move when redocorating or moving. They are typically our first recommendation when it comes to beginner gardeners and are suitable for all locations, indoors and outdoors, for condos, rooftops, lawns, and any other sunny area.

In-ground gardens are great for larger plants and can be customized to the exact size and specifications of your available space.They are excellent for those with a long term vision of growing lots of  vegetables year over year.

For more details on each of these garden types, click on the link below.

Red Cararo Planter with Rosemary
Gardens by Budget

Inevitably, we’ll get asked How Much Will This Cost?

When it comes to gardening, there are so many variables to consider, there isn’t one magic number that will apply to everyone. How much time you have or want to spend, what you want to grow, where you’re growing, and your gardening experience will all factor into the budget. For example, an individual may be very happy spending $100 or less every year on their condo balcony garden, while someone with a larger backyard may be content to spend several thousand per year on their garden along with help to maintain it throughout the growing season.

Despite all the variables that go into gardening, if you have a specific budget you want to stay within or are looking for specific suggestions, we’ve put together a guide to help you with different examples at various price points including the Entry-Level Garden at <$355, the Entry Level Plus Garden at $355-690, and the gardens at >$700.

Click on the link below to see our guide for gardens by budget.

What About Bugs, Pests, and Other Animals

Another common question is What About Bugs/Insects/Animals?

Unless you grow in a controlled environment with sterilized inputs and strict growing conditions, the threat of harmful bugs, insects, and animals will inevitably come up. As part of our gardening philosophy, we subscribe to using organic growing practices to create a rich, thriving ecosystem that encourages beneficial insects to improve soil and microbial health so that the use of additional natural/organic sprays and treatments is kept to a minimum.

While there is a time and a place for natural pest control products such as insecticidal soap, there are other holistic approaches we can take as well.

Click on the link below to learn more about our approach to Natural Pest Control.

How Much Can I Grow?

For some people, the question of “How Much Can I Grow?” is one of their biggest concerns.

Garden yields can vary considerably based on a number of factors. These can include, but aren’t limited to sun conditions, soil conditions, seasonal weather and rainfall conditions, harvesting techniques, local microclimates, and prevalence of pathogens and diseases.

We can help you maximize yields by selecting the optimal location for the garden and choosing high yielding crops, but you won’t know for sure until you start the garden. We encourage everyone we talk to to think about the garden like an investment. Sometimes the rewards are not immediate and take a bit of time before they can be reaped.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

For those who want to dive deeper into the world of edible gardening, we’ve rounded up some links to our most helpful articles. You can also visit our blog where we post weekly gardening tips and other interesting information as well.

How We Make Edible Gardening Simple
Learn more about the YUF philosophy and approach to gardening

5 Things You Must Consider Before Starting An Edible Garden 
Understand these 5 things and learn how to avoid the frustration of a weedy garden and set your garden up for success and long term enjoyment.

5 More Things You Must Consider Before Starting and Edible Garden
Pests and animals, soil structure, seeds vs. transplants, long term planning, and previous use of land should also be considered before starting an edible garden

More Gardening Info and Inspiration

We post regular updates to our blog including inspiring garden quotations, garden tips, and more. Here are some of our most recent posts. More can be seen on our home page and blog sections.