Hurray it is Spring time! Does it feel like Spring where you are yet? Spring here is traditionally wet and windy, with the promise of warmer things to come.
Spring is a perfect time to get your main crop seeds started, and to pop out and get that garden ready to plant up.
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Make sure you keep sensitive plants in doors and protected from frosts, and make sure everyone is well mulched and well watered.
To use the lists below, first you need to discover what USDA Zone you live in.
If you are looking for more information about vegetable gardening, I suggest that you also have a good read over our growing a prolific garden information.
We recommend that you get your seeds from Seeds for Generations as they are a homegrown, US family business specializing in heirloom seeds.
How to Prepare for the New Growing Season
If you have weeds in your plot breaking through your mulch, now is the perfect time to re-apply more mulch.
If you have LOTS of weeds, it is beneficial to smother them out first. Either put a layer or two of cardboard down before you apply liberal layers of mulch – at least 4-6 inches deep.
Another option which is often referred to by JM Fortier and Curtis Stone is tarping. Tarping is simply using a long, wide piece of UV treated silage tarp (so it lasts a long time) and covering the ground with it for at least 3 weeks.
Tarping works by keeping the soil moist, and warms it up. This encourages all the weed seeds to sprout – but then they cannot get light and they die. This then feeds the worms and adds organic material to your soil, while removing the weed pressure.
Personally I am a bit against it as it uses plastic, but these guys get theirs as a waste product from farmers, and they give it many more years of life before it becomes rubbish. So I will leave that to your conscience to sort out.
Warm the Soil
Now is a great time to put out your early tunnels to get the soil warmed up. Leave them in place for 3 weeks before sowing out into them.
Prepare Seed Beds
For most zones it is still too cold to sow seeds outdoors, but if you are one of the warmer areas, or are feeling like giving it a go anyway – you need to rake the mulch back and rake the top soil to a fine ‘tilth’. This means removing any big lumpy bits and breaking up the surface to allow seeds to settle in nicely.
In the Greenhouse
If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse prepare it now for tomatoes etc- wash the insides of the glass with a weak bleach solution to kill fungal spores.
Tomatoes should not be sown in the same soil twice as they harbour diseases so replace the soil and add manure/compost.
The removed soil is perfect for the vegetable garden. Leave the top vents open until you are ready to plant.
What to plant this fortnight depending on your USDA Zone
* Sow direct into your garden
+Start seeds in trays indoors or in a glasshouse first
^Do either or both to get successive plantings.
Lettuce (leaf) +
Lettuce (head) +
Collard greens +
Collard greens +
Bean (bush) +
Beans (lima) +
Onion (bunching) ^
Squash (summer) +
Beans (pole) +
Onion (multipliers) *
Squash (winter) +
Corn (sweet) +
Potato (sweet) +