If you are itching to get in the dirt and plant something today it may not be too early. Lettuce, spinach, onions, peas or radishes may be the perfect crop for these cool nights and warmer days.
It's too early for tomatoes around here in Kentucky, but cool season crops can soar right now.
There are many crops you can start right now in your garden in the form of seeds.
If you've been to my blog, you may know that I grow most of my plants from seeds. Seeds that I stick directly in the ground. In the garden. Where they will grow into big plants that will make me food.
Why I do this:
- It's easier.
- It's cheaper. 1 packet of seeds = dozens and dozens of plants. Planting seeds in the ground saves me hundreds of dollars.
- I can plant whenever I want. I don't have to wait for the big-box store to sell seedlings.
- My seeds never go through the "shock" of being moved from an indoor light-hut to the outdoors.
- They never go through the "shock" of being transplanted.
- They never go through the "shock" of being relocated from a store to wind, rain and all the elements.
- They establish strong root systems and can be healthier.
- Healthier plants mean stronger plants who can withstand attacks from pests and diseases.
- I like watching seeds emerge from the soil and grow into huge plants that will feed my family.
Let's plant some seeds!
Today I am planting peas, lettuce, spinach and radishes. I will be using the same technique to plant each of these.
1. Weed the bed
2. Make a divot for the seeds
3. Sprinkle in seeds
4. Cover & water
I started with a bed. I have roughly 20 raised beds. They are filled with a hodge podge of manure (chicken, goat, cow, horse). I'm not picky. I'll take any manure I can get. I pulled out all the weeds, rocks and sticks that emerged in the bed over the winter.
After weeding, I used my old, metal-rake handle to make a straight divot.
I made all my rows using the rake handle.
Then I sprinkled the seeds in the row.
Last, I used the back of the metal rake and covered all the seeds.
I planted a few varieties in this bed. I put spinach seeds in the back row, 2 rows of butter crunch lettuce seeds in the center, and radish seeds in the front row.
Here's some of the radishes coming up. Radishes are the most fun to grow. They germinate before your eyes and you can be eating crunchy, crisp, spicy radishes in 4 short weeks.
Here's the lettuce.
Lettuce is generally a cool season crop. It grows best and has the best flavor when grown in cool temperatures. I'll be honest. I grow lettuce all spring, summer and fall. My secret is to continually plant new seeds. And in summer's heat I grow my lettuce in the shade of larger plants.
As long as I harvest the lettuce while it is young the flavor is good. I have also found that red lettuce is more heat tolerant than other varieties.
Go here to see how I grow lettuce.
Here's the peas. Sugar snap peas are my children's favorite. I grow them every spring and fall. They do best in spring around here. Be sure to give them something to climb and they'll be happy.
To see how I grow them go here.
Don't forget the onions!
Onions are easy to grow and if you store them correctly they can last you until next February. Just drop the sets in the ground & keep them mulched. When the tips turn brown and flop over it's time to harvest!
Go here to see how I grow onions.
It may not be too early to start your garden. Check with your local Extension Office for details on planting schedules near you.
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