Archive for February 11th, 2012

RadishIt’s mid-January. The vegetable garden seems like a far-off dream.

But if you want to grow broccoli, beets, carrots, peas and other cool season crops, the time is NOW. These early season crops can tolerate cold soil and cool air temperatures; in fact, they will grow and produce best before the weather gets too warm.

That means you need to:

  • List what you are planning to grow
  • Look up the last frost date for your area
  • Read the seed packets to find out when and where to plant.

Some vegetables can be started indoors to give them a head start, and then transplanted. These include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and other Brassicas, as well as lettuce and leeks. Their seeds can also be planted outside a little later. Other crops should be direct sown into the garden. This group includes peas, carrots, beets, and spinach. Spinach and peas can go in as soon as you can work the soil.

Here’s a partial list of cool-season crops: Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Chard, Chinese Cabbage, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion, Parsnip, Pea, Potato, Radish, Rhubarb, Rutabaga, Spinach, and Turnip. Shop for Vegetable Seeds.

So, once you’ve identified your last frost date, you can work back and see what your first priorities need to be. Buy your seeds now, so the planting dates don’t sneak up on you.
Then make your plan. What’s going directly into the garden, and when? What will you start from seed indoors? Do you have trays, planting media, a grow light?

It’s mid-January, and it’s time to garden –so have some fun!

Share with us. What are your early season favorites? Are you trying anything new this year?

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