Summer Solstice Garden

Summer solstice and winter garden planning; What and when to start planting for winter.

“This year, June 20 is the longest day in Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, and it marks the official beginning of summer. In the garden, it’s a time of squash, green beans, cucumbers, and the tomatoes are almost ready.”


As gardeners and growers; whether you are a newbie or are well seasoned with dirt permanently under your nails, this year has been one for the books. However, today marks the day of summer, with the most amount of light to dust off your seeds, planners, and start thinking about winter planting.

I know this might seem strange considering we had such a cold late and not that promising spring, but for most growers summer solstice is the start of winter garden planning. Luckily for those of us in Victoria and along the pacific coast, this means if you start planning and seeding now you can have your brassicas, carrots, beets, kale, and lettuce producing up until you start hearing Christmas music play in the superstores. Woohoo!

Why winter? Its only the beginning of summer!

You’ve probably heard grandmas old saying: “Collards taste sweeter after a frost.” Well she was right! Under cold conditions, collards and its relatives concentrate natural sugars in their sap as a kind of natural antifreeze, which adds a sweet taste to the dinner plate.

The trick, is to have healthy seedlings ready when we need to set them out in the garden. Which is often mid-August for most cool-season crops and as early as late July for Brussels sprouts.

Brussels sprouts case study

We can get a great winter harvest if we start seeds indoors right now, in mid-June, then transplant seedlings into the garden in a few weeks. With luck, they’ll grow beautifully in the cool of autumn and grace our tables for Thanksgiving and the December holiday season. This also works for other vegetables that prefer cool weather, including lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and collard greens.

Solstice Summer planting schedule: What can I still plant for summer harvest? 

Annual Flowers: Even if you already planted any of these annuals once this year, plant them again this summer. That way, they’ll keep your garden looking beautiful for another few months.

  • Marigolds, sunflowers, impatiens and beautiful columbine

Herbs: Starting a herb garden, or container garden, can be done at the beginning of summer if you choose herbs that thrive in the heat. Great choices for the summer season include;

  • Basil, parsley, chives, sage and thyme

Vegetables: If you’re interested in planting vegetables over the summer, you still have plenty of options when June and July roll around. Veggies that love the summer sun include;

  • Corn, eggplant, squash, zucchini, peas, carrots and bell peppers.

Perennials: Late summer and fall are when many people start planting their perennials for the following spring season.

  • Grains, garlic, perennial flowers, bulb flowers, etc.  

Solstice Winter planting schedule: What can I start to plant for winter harvest?

Winter vegetables: Winter planting takes time and a lot of planning, so I would advise looking at the planting dates schedule bellow, and make sure you’re on top of the game! Here’s an exciting list of all the awesome plants that will provide you a solid winter harvest, are you ready!?

  • Beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chives, collard, winter cress, fava bean, fennel, garlic, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, mustard, onion, parsley, parsnip, radish, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnip!

Stay tuned for more information on winter gardening. I wish you the best of luck with your solstice planning, planting and partying!

Until next time, happy solstice growing!

If you have any questions, or comments please email me:

Blog Sources

Garden Potluck


Join the campus community for an evening summer social at the garden. There will be fresh veggies from the garden and live music by local musicians.

Staff and renters have been working hard this spring to bring the garden to life. We want to celebrate the coming season and harvests and bring the community together to enjoy the garden. This is a great opportunity to meet fellow gardeners, students, staff, and families.

This is a family event- children, friends, community members are all welcome!

The evening will be a potluck- bring a dish to share if you like.

Thursday June 22nd 5:30 – 8:30 pm. (Was originally June15th- postponed due to weather)

Performers include:

Dylan Perkons (of Wired To The Sky from Victoria BC)

Vic Horvath

Elder Sister Plum

Matt Kemp


VISIT the facebook event page:

Garden Social




Annual Farm Crawl

Get your tickets while you can!

Join the UVic Campus Community Garden for the popular annual farm crawl!

This year we will be visiting OUR Ecovillage, Alderlea Farm (biodynamic farming) and Blue Roots Farm (permaculture).

We will drive up to Shawnigan Lake on the Social Coast Action Bus to tour OUR Ecovillage, stay there for lunch and then make our way to Alderlea and Blue Roots for the afternoon. Lunch is provided by OUR Ecovillage.

COST: $15 students/ $20 community member (includes a wholesome lunch)

Tickets available on Eventbrite and at the UVSS ticket booth.

We will meet at Uvic parking #2 in front of Finerty Express Cafe (attached to Uvic bookstore)

Please arrive by 9:15am to check in.

Holistic Nutrition Workshop

Holistic Nutrition Workshop
Tuesday, March 28th 1:30pm 
SUB B028 (Student Union Building)
Everything you need to know about gut health and the Microbiome! (free)
with Cordelia McFadyen.

Join us for a workshop on the nutrition of the food we grow and eat and understand how our unique bodies respond to the food we eat in different ways. We will learn and discuss hot topics in the farming world such as eating organic, gut bacteria, constitutions, and nutritional content of common vegetables. Bring your questions! Bring snacks to share!

Topics Include:

Gut health, the microbiome and what you need to know.
What’s organic and is it worth it?
Tasty nutrition facts for some top fruits and veggies grown in our gardens
Find out your Ayurvedic constitution and how to keep your digestive fire strong!

Facilitated by:

Cordelia McFadyen, a.k.a. your nutritional translator, is owner and holistic nutritionist at Inspired Living Nutrition Inc. Cordelia believes there is more than enough food information “out there” for people to learn from, however the key is not in the information available, but how to apply it to your unique nutritional needs. This is where she applies some of her favorite goal crushing techniques to help you learn the new health habits that will reveal the best you. A strong advocate for the holistic nutrition industry, she currently serves as the Dean at the School of Holistic Nutrition at Pacific Rim College located in Victoria, BC.