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When To Start Planting A Garden

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When To Start Planting A Garden

When should I plant? The Best Time to Plant Is Not The Same for Everyone Each person has to decide at what point their garden is ready for certain types of herb and vegetable plants. Creating a planting calendar will help you plan correctly from sew to harvest. Perennial Herbs can be planted just about anytime it is beginning to get warm but Annual herbs such as Basil and Dill need to wait until night temperatures are well above freezing every night. Tomatoes and other “warm season” vegetables are frost tender and will be severely damaged by even a light frost, which can happen when temperatures are as low as 36-38 degrees. “Cool season” vegetables like lettuce and broccoli like a bit of frost but a hard freeze can cause damage. Fortunately we are not alone in this endeavor to find the perfect date to plant. We have many tools to help us decide when spring has arrived and it is safe to set out our vegetables. Keep in mind that there is no “perfect” planting date although there are some that swear that planting by the moon is the way to go. You generally have a window of several weeks and sometimes even longer depending upon your climate zone. If you don’t like running out at night to cover up your plants with sheets because of a late frost warning then add about a week or two to the dates we recommend. Determining your Average Last Frost Date The first thing we need to do is determine when the average last frost date will be in your city. These dates are based upon NOAA climate maps and indicate the likely last frost date for your area plus add few days just to be safe. These are recommended shipping dates but not exact planting dates as that can vary depending upon the weather in your area. Garden Conditions For Planting Make a Difference You need to determine whether or not your soil has dried out enough to dig up the soil for loosening and adding compost. If you pick up a handful of soil and squeeze it between your fingers and it feels muddy and very moist, wait a week or so of sunshine before digging. If it feels soft and moist, but not wet, it is ready to be worked. Lastly, you need to make sure no cold weather is on the horizon. Many times a last minute frost has ruined lots of hard work and planting by killing off tender seedlings. Better to wait a week or two than plant too early and there are many weather tools on the web that will help you see into the future. When you finish your order, we will assign specific shipping dates to your order based upon the average last frost date for your area, however this is the very earliest date, not the only date, you should plant. Our plants are seeded on a regular schedule throughout the season so they are always the right size for you, no matter when you need to plant. We Do Not Recommend Planting Right Away We do not recommend planting your tomatoes and vegetables right away after you receive them. A couple of days to acclimate and be out of the box is very important. Also always check local weather reports for late frosts which can cause severe damage to young plants. Check the maps below to determine the best time to plant in your area. Average Last Frost Date In Spring Average First Frost Date In Fall In order to determine the best planting time for your area, find out when your average first frost date will be and then count backwards for the maturity dates of Freeze Tender plants. Keep in mind that most greens and Lettuces will tolerate light freezes and some can grow all winter long.
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When To Start Planting A Garden

Why Plant a Garden with Vegetables Starting a vegetable garden at home is an easy way to save money — that $2 tomato plant can easily provide you with 10 pounds of fruit over the course of a season. But planting a garden with vegetables also gives you the pleasure of savoring a delicious, sun-warmed tomato fresh from your backyard. In almost every case, the flavor and texture of varieties you can grow far exceed grocery store produce. Plus, growing vegetables can be fun. It’s a great way to spend time with children or have a place to get away and spend time outdoors in the sun. Learning what to plant in a garden with vegetables, and how to tend them for the best harvest, is probably easier than you think. If you plan it right, you can enjoy a beautiful garden full of the fruits of your labor, without having to spend hours and hours tending it. Planting a garden that includes vegetables and flowers means you’ve combined natural companions, and that can turn a potential eyesore into an attractive landscape feature. Read on for more tips on your first vegetable garden! Get inspired by the White House vegetable garden!
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When To Start Planting A Garden

Intensive Cropping This type of planting a garden with vegetables means using in wide bands, generally 1-4 feet across and as long as you like. Intensive cropping reduces the amount of area needed for paths, but the closer spacing of the plants usually means you have to weed by hand. Because of the handwork required, when thinking how to plan a vegetable garden with rows remember: It is important not to make the bands wider than you can comfortably reach. Intensive cropping also allows you to design your vegetable garden, making it a good choice, for example, if you want to grow vegetables in your front yard. It’s a great solution for mixing vegetables with ornamentals, as well. A specialized version of intensive cropping is the “square-foot method.” This system divides the garden into small beds (typically 4×4 feet), that are further subdivided into 1-foot squares. Each 1-foot square is planted with one, four, nine, or 16 plants, depending on the size of the plant when it matures. It also makes sense to leave some areas of the garden unplanted at first. This allows you to plant a second crop to harvest later in the season. Lettuce, radishes, green onions, carrots, and bush beans are commonly planted several times during the season. Don’t miss these other vegetable-garden design tips! Download our free vegetable garden plans!
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When To Start Planting A Garden

The first way to maximize space in the garden is to convert from traditional row planting to 3- or 4-foot-wide raised beds. Single rows of crops, while they might be efficient on farms that use large machines for planting, cultivating, and harvesting, are often not the best way to go in the backyard vegetable garden. In a home-sized garden, the fewer rows you have, the fewer paths between rows you will need, and the more square footage you will have available for growing crops.
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When To Start Planting A Garden

Planting a garden close to reply Submitted by Almanac Staff on September 19, 2013 – 2:49pm Planting a garden close to your house is not a bad idea, in fact, having it close to the house means you may be more inclined to use it/care for it. But you need to be sure that the spot you choose receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. 10 hours is even better.
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When To Start Planting A Garden

Care and Feeding Most vegetables like a steady supply of moisture, but not so much that they are standing in water. About an inch of water per week is usually sufficient, provided by you if Mother Nature fails to come through. Water when the top inch of soil is dry. For in-ground crops, that may mean watering once or twice a week; raised beds drain faster and may require watering every other day. Weeds compete with your vegetables for water and nutrients, so it’s important to keep them to a minimum. Use a hoe or hand fork to lightly stir (cultivate) the top inch of soil regularly to discourage weed seedlings. A mulch of clean straw, compost, or plastic can keep weeds at bay around larger plants like tomatoes. Fertilizing your crops is critical to maximizing yields. Organic gardeners often find that digging in high quality compost at planting time is all their vegetables need. Most gardeners, however, should consider applying a packaged vegetable fertilizer, following the directions on the box or bag. Don’t apply more than recommended as this can actually decrease yield. By using vining crops like pole beans and snap peas when planting a garden with vegetables, you can make use of vertical space in the garden and boost yield per square foot.
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When To Start Planting A Garden

Choosing Varieties Once you start deciding what to plant in a garden with vegetables, you’ll probably notice that the possibilities for are endless. There are thousands of tomato varieties alone! When selecting varieties, pay close attention to the description on the tag or in the catalog. Each variety will be a little different: Some produce smaller plants that are ideal for small gardens or containers, others offer great disease resistance, improved yields, better heat- or cold-tolerance, or other features. Seed catalogs are one of the best sources for vegetables. Once you narrow your choices to types of vegetables, pick two or three varieties that seem promising. That way if one variety doesn’t perform well, you’ll have other plants to make up for it. Next year, grow the best performer again, and choose another to try. Many vegetables can be started early indoors or purchased already started from a garden center. The benefit of this approach is that you can have a crop ready to harvest several weeks earlier than if you were to plant seeds in the ground. Starting vegetables indoors is not difficult, but it does require some time and attention. Seed packages list the options you have for planting particular seed. Use our plant encyclopedia to find the best vegetable varieties for your garden!

When To Start Planting A Garden

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