After a tumultuous winter headlined by cold snaps and arctic flows, the prospect of gardening might have seemed like a distant dream.
But springtime is finally upon us. And with it, a bountiful selection of fruits and veggies are just waiting to be planted.
According to master gardener Brian Minter, there's no shortage of flavourful goodies, that won't just look great in your garden but will also liven up those home-cooked meals come harvest time.
"[It's time to] man the torpedos. Let's get the gardening in," he said. "Let's get the cool stuff growing again."
He joined stand-in host Gregor Craigie on CBC's BC Almanac to share his favourite spring varieties and some tips to ensure a good yield.
1. Asparagus and other perennials
"There are perennial vegetables that are very, very hardy, and could really go in. Asparagus, for example, should go in right now."
Other perennials, including horseradish and rhubarb are also ready for some soil.
Plant them in warmer areas of your garden and ensure beds have good drainage, says Minter.
2. Everbearing strawberries and raspberries
If you're hoping to plant some sweet fruits with multiple yields, everbearing strawberries and raspberries can be planted now and will produce in both the summer and fall.
Everbearing plants produce fruit throughout the growing season.
"They're available in garden stores for the most part now and they should go in in well-drained soil," said Minter.
The strawberries are ideal for raised beds.
3. Early potatoes
In the early springtime, plant potatoes including Warba nuggets and Norland potatoes. Minter says they're a must.
The master gardener says warmer soils are ideal. He says potatoes are relatively easy to plant and a small bed can be quite fruitful.
Best of all, you can harvest Norland potatoes at various stages of growth to enrich different dishes.
It's also a good time of year to get onions into the soil — just make sure they're hardened off and toughened up, says Minter.
"Don't pick them up from a store and just plant them in the garden. Pick them up from a store, put them out of the wind, outside in a protected spot and, perhaps, out of the rain as well — just for four or five or six days. Allow them to toughen up and then they're ready to go."
Toughening them up will ensure a healthier growth.
Minter says chives and shallots are also ready for the garden.
Kale can be planted from the early spring throughout the summer. The tough plant could even continue growing into the fall and the winter, depending on weather conditions.
Be sure not to overwater the plants. The plant can be harvested once leaves are roughly the size of your hand.
With files from CBC's BC Almanac
To listen to the full interview, click on the audio labelled: Master Gardener Brian Minter on spring gardening