How to start?


I would like to grow veggies in the wood box, and have a flower bed on a slope, and along the long edge of our lot. My backyard faces east, with lots of sunshine all day. The soil is dry. Your advice is much appreciated. Thank you.



You’re lucky to have lots of sun, and it sounds as if you have many interesting gardening possibilities for your lot, but it’s hard to tell exactly what your situation is from your brief description. My first suggestion would be to read as much as you can about gardening – you can borrow books from the Toronto Public Library, visit the excellent library at the Toronto Botanical Gardens, look for information on the internet – and talk to your neighbours and friends about their gardens. Toronto Master Gardeners and others offer presentations on different types of gardens as well.

Growing vegetables in a wooden box or raised bed is a wonderful option, and there are many different ways of doing it. Here is an answer to a previous question about building and using raised beds:

Building raised beds

Gardening on slopes is a little trickier than gardening on the level. See:

It may be better to begin with the flower bed along the edge of your lot. It is unlikely that the whole bed will be in full sun, so you must first determine which parts of it will be mainly in sun (“full sun” is defined as at least 6 hours of sun per day) and which will be in part shade or full shade. Then do a plan of the plants you would like to grow, using a mix of shrubs and perennials and annuals. For plant suggestions, see the Toronto Master Gardening Guides at:

Gardening Guides

Please write back once you have more specific ideas about what you’d like to do in the various parts of your garden. Good luck with it!