Time to plan your garden- even though it just January!

It is hard to imagine for a new gardener that this is the time of year to start planing your garden…. well it is.

I always have this chart from West Coast seeds around: http://www.westcoastseeds.com/admin/files/2011PlantingChart.pdf

If you want to really get things going early try some of these early cold hardy Veggies:

The first vegetables of the season that you plant will need to be cold hardy and able to withstand both frost and the later than normal ice storm. If you use the square foot garden method it will be easy to protect the plants in the event of a cold snap. If not you need to plan ahead for how you will protect your plants. Remember to look for heirloom seeds as well as seeds that will grow into plants that are open pollinated so that you can save your seeds for next year.

Kale is an excellent vegetable in the winter garden. It grows fairly easily and is not affected by frost. Try White Russian Kale or Winter Red Kale. Kale can be used in soups and casseroles. It is a member of the cabbage family, and has a bit of a bite when overly mature. Pick it when the leaves are small and tender.

Beets are also good to sow as soon as the soil can be worked. If you have a hot bed, or a cold frame, they can be planted now. Try Chiogga or Bull’s Blood varieties.

Broccoli can be started by about the middle of January and transplanted into the prepared bed in March. Try varieties like De Cicco and Purple Sprouting

Brussels Sprouts can be handled the same as broccoli. Long Island Improved is a good heirloom variety.

Cabbage can also be started early in pots and then transplanted in March. Brunswick, or Red Acre are hardy heirlooms to try.

Carrots can (and should) be direct sown as soon as the garden can be worked. You can make successive plantings until late summer. Gold King does well in heavy soils or try Thumbelina in a container garden.

Onion seeds can be planted in flats now and transplanted into the garden in March. Look for a short day variety for the best results.

Parsnips sweeten during frost. Hollow Crown or Harris Early are good choices.

Peas thrive at 50-60 degrees (10 to 15 celsius). Plan accordingly and get the seeds in the ground as soon possible. Alaska or Green Arrow are trustworthy heirloom types.

Rhubarb should be planted indoors 6-8 weeks prior to last frost and transplanted out to a prepared bed. Rhubarb needs cold temperatures (below 40) to break dormancy. Victoria is the standard crop.

Established rhubarb can actually be forced by placing a pot over the plant to keep it in total darkness. Place mulch over the plants.

Turnips and Rutabagas can handle almost anything! Purple Top or White Globe are good varieties to use.

Here is a good web site to give you things to think about: Location, soil prep and more.

http://www.humeseeds.com/vegplan.htm

Starting from seed information:

http://gardening.about.com/od/gardenprimer/ss/SeedStarting.htm

http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/ten-seed-starting-tips.aspx

 

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