Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Impatience is a Virtue

In Southern Ontario, the average household gardener probably goes by the rule of thumb: Don't plant anything until after Victoria Day weekend. This is the fairly-safe frost-free date. But what many gardeners don't know is there is a plethora of vegetables that can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked and that will survive a spring frost.

In April, if I can find the time, I will plant my peas the moment the soil is workable. A short while later, in go the seeds for my leafy greens, such as lettuce, spinach and swiss chard. Carrots and spring onions can also be planted at the same time. The result is that by mid-June, you've got salad greens that are screaming to be eating and a pea harvest just on the horizon.

And sometimes, if I'm feeling particularly daring, I will plant even some more delicate seeds and seedlings early. I live in Burlington, Ontario and we rarely get frost as late as May 24th, so sometimes I take a gamble, check the 14-day forecast on the weather network to see if I can plant a few weeks early and just make sure I'm willing to take a hit if Mother Nature exercises her frosting powers.

Yours vegetably,
Miss Greenish Thumb

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