You have a general idea of the vegetables you want to put in your garden. But at what stage should each type of vegetable be planted? How soon after spring can you plant tomato seeds? How much later than Halloween can you plant pumpkins? Do you really plant potatoes on the day that celebrates St. Patrick's Day? This article will assist you in knowing the appropriate time to sow your vegetables in the garden.
We are going to assist you in gaining an understanding of how to choose the optimal days to sow your crops. If you discover that reading this article is too much for you to handle at the moment, you don't need to worry about following all of the links to more references right away. Simply go ahead and read the entire article.
A helpful hint: If you just remember one item after reading this post, make it the "Tools" section since we will truly compute "When to Plant" for you! However, it is essential to comprehend the rationale of planting at the times that we do since this will prove useful in the long run.
There are a few different considerations that we need to take into account in order to determine the optimal time to grow each type of vegetable in the garden:
It goes without saying that we can't forget the unpredictability of nature. There is always the possibility that our garden will be affected by an unexpected frost at an inconvenient moment. However, we also have the option of protecting our garden from the cold.
We have two wonderful tools that will be of great use to you in determining the optimal times to plant fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other such things:
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We grow veggies that thrive in chilly weather in the early stages of spring. Since we are directly following winter, during which the ground may have been frozen, the temperature of the soil is the primary concern Planting in the Spring. Because almost everywhere gets frost, the ground has to be warm enough for the seeds to sprout before they can be planted. In addition to this, it can't be too damp, or the seeds may rot.
Knowing the temperature of your soil is an even more accurate factor to rely on than frost dates, which are more of a broad guideline and are suitable for novices. Frost dates are calculated using historical averages and future estimates, which means they might shift quite a little from one year to the next. Readings taken of the soil's temperature, on the other hand, are cold, hard numbers!
However, you will have to purchase a soil thermometer in order to assess the temperature of the soil in your garden. They are not prohibitively pricey. To obtain a reading, you need just bury the thermometer for several days in succession at a depth of a few inches and then remove it. When planting transplants as opposed to seeds, dig the hole a little bit deeper. Check the minimum temperatures required for germination in the soil.
Because some crops that are planted in the spring reach maturity in a relatively short amount of time while others do so in a greater amount of time, it is essential to learn how to properly schedule your plantings by consulting the maturity dates listed on the seed packets.
Naturally, you can get a head start on spring by starting seeds indoors in the latter part of winter. People that reside in the far north and are faced with a limited growing season can benefit from this. If you're just starting off, it might be too advanced for you, but if you're interested, check out our tips on starting seeds indoors and learning which vegetables do the best.
The so-called "warm-season" crops cannot be planted until the soil has sufficiently warmed up, which typically does not occur until the latter part of spring or the early part of summer, depending on your climate. Tomatoes, peppers, and melons are crops that are extremely sensitive to frost and require a warmer soil temperature than other plants. If you sow the seeds too soon in the cool soil of spring, they have a lower chance of germinating and will be of lower quality. Additionally, the growth rate of transplants is relatively modest.
According to a piece of conventional wisdom that we have here at the Almanac, by the end of the month of July, all summer plants, regardless of when they were initially planted in the ground, will have caught up to their peers. To put it another way, quicker growth during warm weather will make it possible for later plantings to catch up with earlier plants that were carried out before the soil could be considered warm enough.
When you are planning the planting schedule for your garden, it is important to remember to take into account the maturity dates that are printed on the seed packages.
We refer to this as "autumn planting"; however, the crops are actually planted in the middle to late part of summer. This is because the crops mature in the fall. There are significant benefits to extending the growing season for certain gardeners; however, not all novice gardeners will choose to plant in the fall. To begin, the temperature of the earth is already pleasant! Getting plants off to a good start is a lot less difficult. The second advantage is that there are fewer insects and other unwanted creatures. If you want the most harvest possible, try extending your season.
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The difficulty, of course, is in the fact that you can't put off planting your autumn crops for too long. In that case, all of your hard work may be undone by an autumn frost that arrives early.
For instance, the Black Seeded Simpson lettuce takes 45 days to mature into its full size. Add 14 additional days for the harvest, and then add seven further days for a "fall factor." This equates to a grand total of 66 days. If the first day of autumn frost typically occurs in your area around November 1, you would need to subtract 66 days from this total and plant your seeds on August 26. You can plant two to three weeks later if you intend to provide your plants with protection, and you can still anticipate having a successful crop.
This helpful fall garden guide includes the latest planting times for a variety of common crops.
In addition, the following is some guidance regarding the types of vegetables that should be planted in the fall.