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Veggie & Herb plants, soil temperatures & a little patience

Given the uncertainty we are facing at the moment, it’s a normal reaction to want plan for the future and to become more sustainable- i.e., plant & grow your own food. Also, some of us have a great deal more time at home and in our yards, and rather than sit and be idle, we may want to be productive at this time.

While we understand, and trust us, we are in the same boat, we must caution against getting some vegetable and herb plants in the ground TOO early. We do have predicted cold temperatures, (below 40 degrees) for this area, from now until April 17.

Although some of our circumstances and daily routines have been drastically altered, we need to still pay attention to Mother Nature, soil temperatures and planting herbs and vegetables at the proper time. It’s best to wait until the soil has warmed up sufficiently in order to give your garden the best chance at providing the wonderful bounty you’re hoping for.

The last thing we’d want is for you to end up with a heap of plants that didn’t survive, and money, your time and hard work down the drain.

For some extra reading- check out these links from the Farmer’s Almanac regarding when in your area it’s safe to plant or transplant your seedlings from indoors or your greenhouse, as well as the Growing Guide- when to plant and where:



These links are a wealth of knowledge which you can return to and reference again and again for planting tips, care, and recipes after harvesting.

You can go full steam ahead on the plants & herbs listed below- as they are cool season hardy

(As of April 08, 2020, we currently stock one variety of each type of herb/veggie )

Herbs – Sweet basil, chives, cilantro, lavender, Greek oregano, Italian parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme

Veggie – Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, lettuce

All other veggie plants & herbs  (tomatoes, cucumbers- we see you!) won’t be available until April 18 or later- we will stock what we can that’s available from our growers. These plants need a soil temperature of 65 degrees or higher to establish roots under ground and thrive, and our current soil temperatures are 50-55 degrees. We’re close- but we’re not quite there yet.

Keep an eye out here for updated soil temperatures in our area (source: Agweb)

Here’s a tentative checklist from the Farmer’s Almanac with what you can be working toward–

If transplanting your seedlings you started indoors:

During the transplants’ last week indoors, withhold fertilizer and water less often to condition them to life outdoors.

Before being planted into the garden, transplants should be hardened off outdoors in a sheltered area: 

7 to 10 days before transplanting, set the seedlings outdoors in dappled shade that is protected from wind for a few hours each day, gradually increasing their exposure to full sun and windy conditions. This will get them better accustomed to the outdoors.

Keep the soil moist at all times during the hardening-off period. Dry air and spring breezes can result in rapid water loss.

Anything that raises the temperature of the soil will help plants adjust to the shock of the cold ground. Try using raised planting beds and plastic mulch to boost soil temperature before planting.

Your garden soil may have become compacted over winter, so loosen and aerate the soil before planting. Add fresh soil if necessary; it should capture and retain moisture, drain well, and allow easy penetration by seedling roots. Read more about preparing soil for planting.


If possible, transplant on an overcast day and in the early morning. This gives the plants a chance to settle into the soil without being instantly exposed to the intense midday sun.

Soak the soil around new seedlings immediately after transplanting.

If the season is particularly dry, spread mulch to reduce moisture loss.

To ensure that phosphorus—which promotes strong root development—is available in the root zone of new transplants, mix two tablespoons of a 15-30-15 starter fertilizer into a gallon of water (one tablespoon for vining crops such as melons and cucumbers), and give each seedling a cup of the solution a few days after transplanting.

Cloches, cold frames, or sheets can be used to protect plants. Be sure to remove protective coverings in the morning. 

Please check back with our website, Facebook and Instagram often for the most recent and up to date information, partial inventory lists, and our current business practices, suggestions and inspiration during these times. We will continue to help you in making your yard the oasis you want for as long as we’re able!

Now, more than ever, we’ll be leaning on the internet- using our website and social media accounts to keep you informed, connected and inspired. Please feel free to reach out to us on the Contact Us page, or email mearstucker@burgerfarms.com for ideas of what you’d like to see from us.

Happy Planting!