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Grow Your Own- cold hardy seeds to plant now, or start inside

So far, 2020 has been a year like most of us haven’t experienced in our lifetimes. The rapid spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus, and concerns over how long it may linger, and how far the ripple effects will reach with restaurants, schools, and other businesses being under mandatory closures by the government, hospitals and doctors offices overwhelmed by patients has left a lot of us reeling. One of the biggest questions is still missing an answer: When will this all be over?

While we may all be adjusting to a new normal, be it temporary or permanent- one constant remains- the need for sustenance. We still have to eat! 

Our garden center is still open regular hours, as of March 18, and we have plenty of seeds of ALL kinds- flowers, vegetables, herbs, you name it. If you’re starting anything indoors- we also carry seed starting mix, trays, Jiffy pots, labels, and no shortage of encouragement from our knowledgeable staff.

A few tips for starting seeds indoors:

*Be sure to use proper seed starting mix or indoor potting mix, and not garden soil from outside- dirt from outside could bring in pests to your seeds, it’s too dense to allow proper germination of the new, sensitive seeds. The seed starting mix & indoor potting mix are both light and full of nutrients your new seeds need.

*Don’t plant your seeds too deep! Most packages have a planting depth listed on them, appropriate for starting indoors or outdoors. Generally, you can plant the seeds at a depth of twice as wide as the seed itself- or 1/4″ to 1/2″, or a knuckle on your pinky finger, and plant 2-4 seeds in each.

*Don’t overwater- mist with a spray bottle, and don’t drench them, but keep them moist. If using a seed starting tray, or pots, water from the bottom.

* Adequate light- if your sunny window isn’t enough light, and sometimes it isn’t, you need plant specific bulbs or grow lights (LED) to make sure your seeds are receiving enough light

* Label your seeds! Forgetting to label in the beginning can cause problems in the interim because you may not remember which pot or tray is which, then you’ll have to play the waiting game until they mature.

* Keep growing, don’t give up! You’ll have more than a few seeds not make it to maturity, don’t give up.

Soil Temperature – according to AGWEB.com, soil temperature in our area is averaging in the 40 degree range for 4″ depths.

Below is a list of seed & seed families which are cold hardy & tolerant, and can be planted now, and their days to maturity (generally) if planted from seed

Brassica Family

  1. Brussels Sprouts- 100-110 days to maturity
  2. Cabbage- 85-95 days
  3. Broccoli- 100-150 days

Onion Family

  1. Leeks- 120 days
  2. Garlic- 90 days
  3. Onions- 100-150 days from seed, or we have sets available to be harvested sooner

Root Vegetables

  1. Carrots- 75 days
  2. Turnips- 30-60 days
  3. Radishes- 22-70 days (harvest before the outside temperature gets too warm!)
  4. Beets- 45-65 days

Leafy Greens

  1. Kale- 70-80 days
  2. Lettuce – Salad bowl, Arugula, Bibb- 45-60 days
  3. Swiss Chard- 30-45 days
  4. Spinach- 45 days

Everyone’s favorite: 

  1. Garden Peas- 60-70 days
  2. Sugar Snap peas- about 60 days

Soil Temperature – according to AGWEB.com, soil temperature in our area is averaging in the 40 degree range for 4″ depths as of March 18, 2020. This map is updated regularly https://www.agweb.com/weather/soil-temperatures

Also, the Farmers’ Almanac (www.farmersalmanac.com) is another source of information regarding planting tips and tricks, home remedies, weather and conditions.

Stay tuned for more posts about gardening during times like these, and the benefits (both mental and physical) that working outside in your yard can provide when conditions are less than ideal.

We wish all of you health, safety and happy planting!