Saturday, March 16, 2013

Early Spring Sowing

photo courtesy of colorline
Miss Greenish Thumb and I were chatting about hoop tunnels and cold frames today.  She asked what to plant in the early spring.  I looked it up in The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener.
In early spring, pretty much right when the snow is melted, you can start planting. 
If you prepare your garden soil (with compost and enrichments) in the Fall, you can jump right into planting in mid to late March.  I didn't do this and I plan to build some raised garden beds first and add new soil to them.  Also, our snow isn't going away anytime soon.  But I hope to do some early planting in April with a hoop tunnel, long before the regular Victoria Day weekend sowing season here in Ottawa. 
Miss GT has a garden with good soil and the snow has cleared out of Burlington already, so she can build her cold frame and get to planting right away.
Here are some veggies you can plant from seed in early spring:
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Purple Pak Choi
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Beets
Here are some veggies you can transplant in early spring:
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Leeks
I think I'll attempt to grow lettuce, kale, swiss chard and carrots under my hoop tunnel in April.  Here's hoping!
I hope this is helpful, Miss Greenish Thumb.
- Mary Mary



Melissa said...

SUPER helpful! Thanks, sis.

Rachaël & Étienne said...

Hey Maryann, did you make your own hoop tunnels or buy them somewhere? I'd be interested in doing the same.. I get so antsy at this time of year, I can't wait for the snow to melt!

Mary said...

Hi Rachael,

In the fall, I made my own hoop tunnels out of sticks. Here's the link to that post:

I think when I make my raised garden beds, I'm going to make my own hoop tunnels out of PVC pipes. I think I'll attach short pieces of 1 inch in diameter pipe to the actual raised garden frame. Then i'll use smaller pipe (1/2 inch?) as the actual hoops/ribs. This 1/2 inch pipe will insert into the 1 inch pipe. Have you seen this done before?

I can lend you my book on it - The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener.


Rachael said...

I don't remember ever seeing it done... My grandpa has a greenhouse, so that's usually where he starts his plants. My dad drives up there at some point in the spring and brings us cauliflower, tomato and pepper plants... the rest I just start straight in the ground. I must say the idea of extending the growing season in my own backyard does interest me though! I don't have room for my own greenhouse, but maybe some tunnels... hoping it's relatively inexpensive!

Mary said...

Hi Rachael,
Yah, I think that's sort of what it is - a backyard, space-efficient, inexpensive alternative to a greenhouse.