The ground may be covered in snow and frozen solid, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be growing and planning your vegetable garden in the heart of winter. Now is a great time to be ordering seeds, starting plants indoors to be planted once the ground warms up or planning a new garden.
Seed catalogs are a great resource for planning a vegetable garden. We’re fortunate to be able to choose many different varieties of the same vegetable. Why does that matter? Tomatoes can take 60-90 days from planting before producing delicious ripe fruit. Some tomatoes produce one heavy crop for about 2-3 weeks and others will fruit all summer and even into the fall. By choosing the right mix of tomato varieties you can enjoy a long and steady supply of the best tomatoes ever right from your own backyard. The same goes for lettuces. Most lettuce grows best in cooler weather, but there are some that will thrive during the hottest summer months with a little bit of shade protection. Again, using the right varieties for different times of the year will mean fresh lettuce from spring all the way until winter! A great place to start looking for seeds is the Hudson Valley Seed Libary or Johnny Seeds.
When making a planting plan I like to think about what can grow when. In the early spring, only vegetables that can survive cooler temperatures and even frost are considered. Don’t even think about planting tomatoes, eggplant, peppers or squash before your soil has warmed up and there is no danger of frost. Wait until after May 15th for most of Westchester. 2012 had very late killing frosts.
What are the best vegetables to start with?
- Bok Choy
Take a look online or in a catalog and make a list of all the vegetables you’d like to start growing this spring. Leave a comment with your favorite spring vegetables. Next up is how to start vegetables indoors which is also a great activity to do with kids.