Ready to plant!
Since I have planted a cool weather garden this year and wrote about it a couple of days ago, I have had several people inquire of me, "What exactly is a cool weather garden and how can I start one?"
The ground in your garden has to be thawed completely to do this. Some people will lay down black plastic sheeting in the fall, so that in early spring the ground will thaw sooner. I did not do that. After an unusual warm winter without much snow and warm early spring temperatures, our garden beds were thawed. After the ground is thawed, it needs to be plowed up and if you need to add new compost to it, do it now. Then plow it up again and mix it in. We use our wheel hoe for plowing, like the Earthway Tubular Steel High Wheel Cultivator 6500, which does not use any fuel. Just man power. Our wheel hoe has a bicycle tire on the front though.
Once it is plowed up, you can plant cool weather crops. These are various plants who really do much better in the cool temperature of early spring. In the summer when your temperature is higher, they fail to thrive. You are lucky if you can get any to grow at that point. Since I am dying for salad, the first one I planted was lettuce and some salad greens.
Some good choices for your cool weather crops would be:
- Mesclun mixes are tangy and add flavor. I love them! Ferry-Morse 3213 Organic Mesclun Mix
- A good cool weather crop. PAK CHOI Cabbage seeds
- Spinach loves the cool spring weather! Spinach "Monstrueux de Viroflay" Heirloom Seeds
- Everyone plants peas first thing in the spring. Ferry-Morse Seeds 1457 Peas
- We love beets, they just don't grow here during the summer. Detroit Dark Red Beet Seeds - Beta Vulgaris
- Kale has grown for us under the snow! Kale - Dwarf Blue Curled
- Cabbage will thrive under cold weather conditions. Cabbage Seeds, Copenhagen Market
I hope this gives you some ideas of some seeds that can be started, even if your weather is cool. I know Carla Emery used to tell in her book, Encyclopedia of Country Living, 10th Edition, that she'd just poke the pea seeds down in the ground just to get them in as early as possible.
Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole