Gardening

Planting guide: Get started with spring veggies and herbs

The warm sunshine is beckoning us into our gardens… pleading with us to plant something. We gardeners are all too happy to oblige.

Here’s a basic Planting Guild to help you get your veggie garden planted through early, mid and late spring.

  • Early Spring- as soon as the soil is fit (see below)- Peas, onions, potatoes, lettuce, radish, spinach and chard.
  • Mid Spring- around the end of April to mid May- Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, fennel. You can reseed lettuces and radishes every two weeks through June to keep a steady supply.
  • Late Spring- after the last predicted frost- typically end of May- Beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, squash, pumpkins, basil and dill. Purchase these as started plants-  peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant and most herbs.

To check if your garden soil is ‘fit’ to till and plant, take a handful and form a ball; if it stays into a tight,  moist ball or if the dirt falls apart in ‘clumps’ than wait a few more days and test again. If the dirt is crumbly and falls apart evenly, then it’s ready.  Tilling the soil before it’s dry enough will create hard clods making the soil dificult to work in.

If a light frost hits your garden, you can save your plants by sprinkling them with water using a watering can or hose. Sprinkle the plants before the sun shines on them, especially seedlings, otherwise they’ll be burned and will more than likely die. Certain plants will only get tip burned and will grow out of it if – lettuce, chard, radishes, spinach, onions and potatoes.

Another way to prevent frost damage is to cover your plants the evening before with light sheets. You can also purchase a product called, fabric row cover from a green house supply or seed company.

Good sources for fabric row cover are:  FarmTek, www.farmtek.com or Johnny’s Selected Seeds, www.johnnysseeds.com

 

Life is good, then you garden!

Jean

Jean Smith

Jean Smith is a mother of six, organic farmer and freelance writer dwelling with her family on their five acre farm in the Thumb of Michigan. She is a self professed master gardener with over 15 years experience who loves to write and teach about her passion for and knowledge in organic gardening. You can read more of Jean’s writings at her blog, For Dragonflies And Me