When to Plant?

April 24, 2009 at 9:30 pm 2 comments

Every year, I get overly excited and plant everything too early so that I can convince myself it’s spring. That’s why my indoor garden has grown from 1 bank of lights to 5 in just 2 years. I had to tape an organized list of things to plant, in order according to the times listed on the package, to the back door. This is an attempt to stop myself from greedily poring over my seed packets for permission to direct sow something new. But it’s hard to trust the times that are listed on the seed packet, given that they’re distributed through many USDA zones, and especially when our spring has been so consistently below seasonal this year.

Last year I experimented with a new trick I picked up from Dave’s Garden, since I’m too cheap to buy a soil thermometer, and I will never know what “mid spring” means. It worked out okay last year, except that we got a frost in June! I now use the following as a guide, in conjunction with daily attention to the lawn and garden forecast. Use plants to tell you when to plant!

Plant carrots, cornflower, peas, poppies, radishes and spinach when forsythia bloom.
Plant broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, and pansies when domestic cherry trees and flowering quince bloom.
Plant beans, corn, cucumber, marigolds, morning glory, nasturtium, squash, sunflowers, and zinnias when lilacs are in full bloom.

Watch wild cherry trees and bridal veil spirea. Until they bloom, it’s not safe to plant out your frost tender plants, no matter what the date is. Peppers can’t go out until you’re sure it won’t get colder than 10 degrees, unless you plan on covering them.

I already thinned radishes and spinach today!


Entry filed under: Food, Garden, Uncategorized.

Colour Flood 10 points for Genetic Purity (in food)

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nes  |  April 26, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    As soon as the soil can be worked I am out there planting. Peas, spinach and salad greens, beets and turnips. Remember we can protect plants from frost with blankets and plastic. But I do hate it when my plum harvest is taken by late front.
    Great Blog!

    • 2. livinglime  |  April 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm

      I’m guilty of this as well. That week in early march when it warmed up, i was out there, working manuer into the front yard with great effort because it was only thawed about 5 inches deep. Some beets, radishes, spinach and peas went in there then. I do this kind of thing all the time, because, like you, i protect my plants when the weather dips. My tomatos went in the first week of may. But this is a general guideline for people who aren’t as crazy as us. 🙂


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