Seeds and Spring

Our seed order has arrived and I’ve mapped out our planting strategy for the year.

For the spring, our principal garden will be about 7500 square feet (app. 1600 row feet).We’ll also plant about 1000 row feet of Yukon Gold potatoes. Our raised beds will be planted with lettuce and tatsoi (mostly lettuce).

Our spring crops will be collards, English peas, arugula, chard, three varieties of kale, romaine lettuce, beets, Chinese cabbage, mustard greens, broccoli, radishes, turnips, spinach, lettuce mix and tatsoi. Of course we’ll also continue to harvest the over-wintered lettuce, spinach, kale and turnips in the hoop house.

We don’t have a greenhouse and have limited capability for seed starting. So we’ll start our kale seedlings here, but we’ll get our collards, romaine, broccoli and Chinese cabbage from a nearby nursery. We’ll direct seed everything else.

That ought to give us plenty of production in the spring.

I’ve mapped out the summer and fall schedule too. We like to experiment a little each year. This year we’re trying Blue Hubbard squash for the first time, as well as BHN-589 tomatoes, a variety from Johnny’s intended specifically for hoop house growing. Despite my many prior failures, I’m also going to try carrots again. We’ll plant them in our raised beds in the late summer.

I’m still not sure what we’re going to do in the hoop house next fall. We’re still learning, so I’m going to stay flexible on that.

It’s almost time to get the party started. We’ll start sowing seed trays in a little over two weeks.

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22 comments on “Seeds and Spring

  1. Sounds wonderful! Still snowy and icy here so I am trying to keep my seed starting urges at bay. Incidentally, we use just a bench at one end of our hoophouse for seed starting. Most days the hoophouse is the most pleasant place on the farm.

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    • Bill says:

      Hmm. We usually start our seeds under grow lights on shelves by a window. Now you have me wondering if we might be able to do it in the hoophouse. I’ve been amazed at how warm it is in there on sunny days. I think I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the tip!

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  2. March Picker says:

    Exciting plans. I also enjoy this time of dreaming and planning for the garden. May all your seeds sprout (well, a vast majority at least) and your veggies be bountiful!

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  3. BeeHappee says:

    So I remember Bill you were reevaluating whether to stay in farmers markets. It appears you guys are sticking to selling the produce? Wow, two weeks, coming up fast, to see the magic of life grow. 🙂

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    • Bill says:

      We’re not raising any pigs this year and we’re scaling back the number of gardens. But yes we’re still market gardening. We’ve been doing it long enough now to be realistic about what we can expect. I enjoy it and, besides, it allows me to feel like I’m still gainfully employed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I envy you being able to start soon. I can’t start seeds until April 1.
    Hope you have a very productive season. Let’s hope Ma Nature cooperates .
    Happy Planting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • avwalters says:

      Me too. (Not so far from you.) Maybe that’s why envy is green.

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      • Joanna says:

        Not the only ones. I will start some seeds off in our home but they are not intended for even our greenhouse, just indoor greens and pepper plants. Balmy at 34F at the moment but expecting a dip soon to 5F

        Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Here we aim to start planting the spring gardens in mid-March. We’ve had years when we put them in on March 1 and other years when it stayed cold and wet so long that they never happened.

      It’s easy to be flexible on planting dates with direct seeding. Not so easy with transplants. So we just make our best guess and hope for some help from Mother Nature. 🙂

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  5. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, yes, seed starting will begin here on Valentine’s Day give or take a day or two. I still have things to get read with the seed starting area. I’ve doubled the capacity of that area and am wondering just what I’ll be starting. The two areas will have a capacity of 576 two inch cells. The local Walmart store already has seeds and potting mix. They have started earlier than normal. Usually it is the first part of February before I see that happening.

    Have a great planning day.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer
    dbentz24@gmal.com

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    • Bill says:

      Last year I noticed the big box stores were selling tomato and pepper plants in March. They were just taking advantage of people who didn’t know any better.

      We’ve had good success with seed starting some years, and poor results in others. It’s not a strong suit for me.

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  6. Sounds ambitious, Bill. With seven weeks of backpacking this summer I doubt we’ll be growing much, other than a few blisters. 🙂 –Curt

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  7. Wow, can I come and eat at your house! That’s some serious growing!!! 🙂 ❤

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  8. I mapped out my gardens today…deciding what to put where and when. Looking through last year’s garden journal for inspiration and remitters of what went wrong and right…never used to have to write that stuff down but now if I don’t it’s list forever.

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    • Bill says:

      I’ve been pretty good at keeping garden journals and they do help a lot. Mine are pretty basic though. My wife (who is an organizational master) says I should convert over to spreadsheets. That seems a little too ambitious for me though.

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  9. Farmgirl says:

    I have got to get my seed order in! 🙂 Wishing you bountiful, beautiful gardens.

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