Tips for Starting Veggies and Flowers in Spring
In mid-March & early April you can direct sow cool weather crop seeds like peas, lettuce, spinach and potatoes in your garden or in pots. Be thorough about marking where you have direct seeded in the garden. As your seeds germinate, so will the local weed population and it may be hard to know what sprouts are weeds and what sprouts are your veggies. I recommend giving the sprouts a good couple of weeks to show themselves and be identifiable. Once seeds sprout, water them gently preferably in the morning to prevent sunburn midday or fungus from being wet all night. Try to water the soil and not the plants.
You may be tempted by the economy and variety of seed packets. Generally, seeds of most warm weather annuals & vegetables like tomatoes, peppers & cukes should be started indoors about 6 weeks (April 1) before your last frost date (May 15th locally). Warm weather plants want soil temperatures in the 50s and night temperatures ideally in the 60s. Seed starting is fun! You do need a very sunny window and/or grow lights to be successful. Watching seeds sprout indoors makes a plant parent proud. We have all the seed starting supplies and knowledge that you need.
Always follow the directions on your seed packets for the best results!
If you missed the window of time for starting seeds indoors, fear not! There are plenty of vegetables (zucchini, squash, cukes) & annuals (cosmos, zinnias, sunflowers, marigolds) that can be planted directly in the ground after any possibility of frost has passed, mid-May. We recommend planting tomatoes & peppers from starter plants in our area so they have time to produce before the season ends.
Caution: Do not try to work your garden soil if it is wet and clumps into a ball when you squeeze it. Use containers for lettuce, onions and peas if the ground is soggy. Seeds will rot and soil may stay in clumps all season!
The new thinking on vegetable gardening is to NOT turn the soil annually.
Tilling the entire bed will break up the beneficial microbes in the soil and expose weed seeds to the sun causing them to germinate. Just dig the hole for your plants!
Add compost in the hole and top dress lightly around the base of your plants.