Sunday, February 17, 2013

Starting Early Crops, the Winter Garden & Seed Starting/Planting Schedule

Today I finally got some of my early crops started! I was planning on starting some crops last weekend. However, cleaning up the basement and fixing my one germinating table took more time than I expected.

Since last year was my first time trying to use soil blocks......and I didn't do all that well with them. I decided to start my first plantings in containers. I am however planning to start my Broccoli, Cabbage & Cauliflower in soil blocks.

 I started Collards, Arugula, Tatsoi, Pak Choi, Baby Choi, 4 varieties of Kale and 6 varieties of Lettuce. All of these will be planted out in the empty cold frames very early.

These pretty and colorful tomato cages are the only thing in the cold frames right now. "The Italian" got them for me for my Birthday in December. I think they are really cool! He had them all lined up in a path from where I park my car to the back door and then a special present in the last one!
 
I didn't get around to planting the cold frames this past fall. Life got hectic and truthfully I think it was best for the soil. Last year I had slugs all winter and lots of bugs all season due to the mild winter we had. Maybe a good freeze will help things out a bit. That's my excuse reason and I'm sticking to it!
 
The overwintered spinach (the only way I can grow it) is doing well. The plants are very close right now. I will space them out once the weather permits.
 
There are some burned leaves. But, we will have happy Spinach this Spring!
 
I also started two varieties of Leeks, Caratan & Large American Flag. Large American Flag is new variety for me. I received the seeds from Seeds of the Month Club and am happy to try a new variety. I wanted to try another variety.....so, we shall see how they do.
 
The Celery was also sown today. This year I sowed my tried and true variety, Golden Self Blanching. I also started another new variety from Seeds of the Month Club, Utah. I'm really excited to see how the Utah celery does. Let's just hope we don't have more celery than last year!
 
Also sown were some Herbs; Rosemary, Basil (for inside), Winter Savory, Summer Savory, Cumin & Lemon Grass.
 
 
 My seed starting & planting schedule for this year is as follows:
 
February 23/24 - Start Broccoli & Cabbage
March 9/10 - Start Cauliflower, Eggplants & Peppers
March 16/17 - Peas Outside
March 30/31 - Start Tomatoes
March 30-Mid April - Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, maybe Beets & Greens Outside, weather permitting
April Mid-Late - Broccoli Outside
April -Late to May-Early - Cauliflower Outside
May Early - Start Squash & Melons
May-Early to Mid - Tomatoes Outside
May-Late - Peppers & Eggplants Outside
May-Late to Early June - Direct sow, Beans, Cucumbers, Squash, Popcorn and any other warm crops that I forgot!
 
I'm sure this will change a bit, as it always does. But, that's the plan for now! How are you making out with your garden planning for this year???

32 comments:

  1. Robin,

    Hey there lady! I love your tomato cages, great gift. The Italian did good, yep he's a keeper :-)

    Your ahead of most of us with planting your seeds already inside. I still need to setup my little greenhouse for starting my seeds.

    I have a suggestion to help get rid of slugs, coffee grounds(already brewed) mixed together with some egg shell spread all over and around your plants.

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    1. Thanks for the tip Sandy! Yep, he's definitely a keeper!!!

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  2. I got my shelves set up yesterday, and a couple of the lights installed, but I won't be starting any plants until around the second week in March. It feels like spring will never arrive.

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    1. Granny, you forgot what it's like to have winter! I think you should start some early stuff now and try some cold weather gardening!

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    2. Nah, I'm still enjoying my hibernation, LOL! Yesterday I took stock of my canned goods, and it looks like I'll be doing very little canning this year. Probably some salsa and tomatoes, but no jams, pickles, relishes, ketchup, chili sauce....we still have way too much! I'm going to concentrate on growing more corn and carrots this year, as well as more sweet peppers. I ran out of peppers way early.

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  3. Cheerful looking tomato cages! I have blue ones and they add pretty color to the garden area. Working on when to plant what this year. Nancy

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    1. Nancy, I think those cages are cheerful too! Since they aren't real big, I think I will use them for the pepper plants. Happy Planning!

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  4. Hey Robin! We're still using tomato cages that we made in 2011. They're holding up well. We're in south florida so we're already growing tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions and so much more! It actually got cold this weekend so my eggplants are very happy.

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    1. Mary, Lucky you! What we wouldn't do for a fresh tomato right now!

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  5. Thanks for sharing your schedule. It's helpful! We haven't tried overwintering spinach. Maybe that's something we'll try next winter. Keep us posted about when to plant. Do you cover your celery with bags to lighten their color and keep them more tender? It's something I heard about recently and was wondering.

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    1. Hey Jody, that's my flexible schedule! I'm sure it will change a bit....as it always does. No, I have never covered my celery. The Golden Self-Blanching is, self-blanching. But, I'm going to look in to it. Overwintering spinach is the only way I have had success with it. It never seems to do well for me any other way. It's just one of those things!

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  6. Celery just doesn't see, to perform for us. Even with all last year's rain it wasn't happy.

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    1. Sue, All of us gardeners always seem to have something that we can't grow well. I've always had success with celery. It may be the variety I plant.....or just luck!

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  7. Hi Robin, you never told us what was in the last cage???

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    1. Hi John, It was my favorite chocolates!

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  8. Love your blog - it motivates me! Mentally, at least. Let's see if I can get off my lazy boo-tay and actually start planning this year's garden now. :)

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    1. Thanks Kristen! I'm sure once you get started....there will be no stopping you!

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  9. My seed starting schedule is ever changing as well. It's good for me to have a guideline though so I know the general times I should be starting seeds. Your spinach looks amazing!

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    1. Thanks Rachel! The spinach seems to do real well for me overwintering it. My schedule is basically a guideline too. It always depends on Mother Nature!

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  10. I've made a preliminary garden plan but I'll have to update it soon.

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  11. You know, I really did not have super success with soil blocks last year either. I have only done a few trays of them this year and have been also using up my cell packs to get things started in as well. I think I struggle with keeping them properly hydrated. I either get them too wet or they go too dry.

    You are busy busy busy with all your seed starting. Isn't it nice to have some garden starting to grow - even if most of it is indoors?

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    1. Laura, keeping them properly hydrate is the problem that I had too. Hopefully, I will be more successful this year.

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  12. I haven't even started yet! I think I'll be okay as long as I do it by the end of the week, every year it seems I can say "I can start seedlings later next year"... I'll be testing that this year LOL. Yours look great!

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    1. Hey Erin, I guess it's time to get your rear in gear!!!

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  13. I haven't yet cleared away the spinach and chard from last season, and they're perking up again, so yes, I did deliberately overwinter them!!!

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    1. IG, the first time I overwintered it was by mistake too! I guess it's the passive approach to gardening. It works well!

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  14. I love seeing your containers all lined up and covered with plastic wrap! Mine look the same. Love comparing schedules too. I tend to have to start my peppers and eggplants a lot earlier than recommended for my area, don't really know why. I planted mine on Sunday, but that is the date that they do best for me. Probably because things grow so darned slowly in my shady garden. I am trying overwintering spinach too. Great tomato cages, so cheerful!

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    1. Those cages are very cheerful! I just love them! Eggplants and peppers take much longer to grow than tomatoes do. I'm sure your spinach will do great. It's the only way I am successful at growing it.

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  15. That Italian sure sounds like a gem! We started some onions, greens, broccoli, and cauliflower already. They looks so full of promise when they are first peeking out of the soil! I cannot believe we are already to the seed-starting stage again already!

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    1. He sure is! I can't believe it either. Time sure is flying by this winter!

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  16. Looks like you've been busy planting seeds. Loving your tomato cages. I love the bright colors. I'm going to be adding a few of these to my garden this year. I've been eyeing them for the past 2 seasons.

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