We received a WWF grant to start a composting and school garden program. We have done the first part with composting and now have a ready garden bed. Toronto District School Board staff have helped with the design. The bed is in the west corner of an enclosed courtyard with partial sun. Our main question: What quick-growing hardy plants can we plant from seed and as seedlings now (end of March and April)? Best picks for easy to care for, fun to eat plants?
There are some cool weather crops that can be planted in the spring, just as soon as it is warm enough to get outside and work the ground. Locate vegetables where they will receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. As soon as the ground can be worked, approximately 5-7 weeks before last frost date(May 9) onion sets, peas and spinach can be sown in your raised bed.
2-3 weeks before the last frost date it is safe to plant lettuce, celery , dill and cilantro seeds. Lettuce and celery seeds require light to germinate so cover these seeds lightly with soil.
1-2 weeks before last frost date plant carrots and radish seeds
It is safe to plant beans and zucchini seeds just after the last frost date (May 9) and sow cucumber seeds 1-2 weeks after the last frost date (please see our information from a past question about Frost dates ).
Here is a link to more information on soil improvement and organic vegetable and herb gardening: http://220.127.116.11/~torontom/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Organic-Vegetable-Gardening.pdf
And another growing from seed.
Good Luck with your new garden and enjoy your bountiful harvest.