I am in Toronto and about to plant a garden. I did not realize peas are cold weather plans as with lettuce. Can I plant Homesteader peas and sugar snap peas tomorrow or is it now best to wait to the fall. Same question regarding Grandpa’s Leaf lettuce, Mache Corn Salad, and Arugula?
Hello and thank you for posting your question on the Toronto Master Gardener ASK site. I am unsure by your question if you are referring to planting seeds or seedlings. If seeds, then I think you’d better wait until the fall. Pea seedlings may be alright, but they do not take kindly to transplanting, and looking at the forecast for the next few days, Toronto is in for very hot weather – bad news for any type of peas. Lettuce and some other leafy vegetables on the other hand can certainly be planted now. If planting seedlings, be careful to offer some sun protection at transplanting time, let them get acclimatized slowly to outside and mulch to keep the heat down. Lettuce, spinach, and Swiss Chard can tolerate a bit of shade – so look for that bit of shelter in your garden. Check out seed catalogs for “Intermediate” types of lettuce, these can take the summer heat, and by interval sowing one can enjoy homegrown leafy greens all summer long. Arugula can be grown through the summer, but once the heat of summer comes on these plants will quickly go to seed. The remedy is to harvest early as soon as you see a bud form. In extremely hot weather cool your harvested Arugula by soaking them in cold water. This will rehydrate the leaves and eliminate some of the bitter taste. I have not had much luck planting Mache here in Toronto, it seems to fall prey to powdery mildew at the very hint of humid weather. I would keep that one as a fall crop. I hope this is helpful, good luck with your edible garden. Here is a link to the Ontario ministry of agriculture website that may be helpful.