To get ready for spring my husband, Bill, and I built a seed-starting station, with grow lights and casters, now ensconced in our tiled dining room. Mid-January I’ll start cold crops in these little cells, while others will be ready to direct sow in February.
How to know when and where to plant?
- Check the seed packet. Most have excellent planting information such as whether to start seeds indoors or out, and approximate planting times outdoors.
- Go online or contact your county extension office to discover your last frost date; count backwards for indoor seed starting.
- Warm-season vegetables shouldn’t be put outside until after the last freeze date—April 20 in my area.
- The farther south you live, the earlier you can start seeds and transplant outdoors.
There is nothing like lettuce to wake up a tired palette, and it’s an easy crop for beginners. There are five types of lettuce: cos or romaine, leaf, butterhead, crisphead and stem. Because our weather turns hot so early in spring, I usually stick to romaine and leaf lettuces, and varieties known as slow-bolting. I’ll be sowing ‘Red Sails’, ‘Black-Seeded Simpson’ and ‘Jericho’.
Gardening is never dull to the plant-obsessed. By trying new techniques and plants, even experienced gardeners can get early starts on spring and their new gardens.
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