Sunday, February 17, 2013

Veggies to plant in Early Spring (Winter)

Hard-core plant junkies have already been feeling up and sniffing the plants in the garden centers.  The really, really intense garden maniacs have found a way to grow vegetables all winter.  For the rest of us - it's time to plant cool weather veggies!  Even in the frozen North!

Here are the sturdiest, cold-weather vegetables in order of cold-hardiness:

Spinach! - has to frost to germinate.  If you live in the South, the best way to force this is to put the seeds in the refrigerator overnight.

Arugula, red romaine, tatsoi, radishes, kale, cilantro - These will need a few days of nice weather to germinate and get established before they can survive a freeze.  In the South they can be grown all winter.

Dill, oak leaf lettuce, green romaine, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mizuna, beets

Onions, potatoes, cabbage - These can freeze to death so if you are a Yankee they are summer crops.  In the South they must be done early because they won't live past mid-May.  This is a great second use for all those plant protection devices you bought!

Each of these vegetables deserves a post of it's own.  Maybe they will get them someday.  But for now, here's the skinny:   
-These winter vegetables are the easiest to grow in your kitchen garden if you are direct seeding:  Arugula, radishes, tatsoi, red romaine, oak leaf lettuce, mizuna, snow peas, cilantro, dill.  Most of these will be ready to use in a month!!
-For transplants:  cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
-Root crops like carrots and beets grow really well when direct seeded into loose soil.  Be sure you know what the seedlings look like.  Carrot seeds wash away easily into the yard and look like grass when they come up.  That story tells itself.  Deer LOVE beets.  Chickens, rabbits, every living thing loves beets.  I never get any.

At Caley's Culinary, we try to answer any gardening questions you leave!
Merry Spring!  Happy Gardening!

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