Sunday, January 24, 2016

Planting seeds outdoors for early spring harvests...........

Earthbox with lettuce on the patio
Sunday, January 24, 2016

You wouldn't think you could sow seeds now, but you can!  Cold season crop seeds can be broadcast in late fall, winter or early spring.
It was down in the teens again this last week.  If the wind dies down enough and the earth isn’t frozen, I plan on putting out some Austrian pea, spinach and cold hardy lettuce seeds in two of my Earthboxes and in the garden bed.  

I plant in pots and my flower bed which is mulched.  Planting in mulched flower beds is a great way to veggie garden.  Mulch adds organic matter, your flowers attract beneficial insects which increase your harvests, mulch moderates the ground temperature, suppresses weeds, retains moisture, and looks good, too!  If putting your veggies in mulched bed, you do have to pull the mulch back when you plant seeds.  Almost all seeds are not strong enough to push the mulch out of the way as they sprout.

For more on gardening in your flower bed, Weed free, self fertilizing, till free garden beds.   
I think I will go with space hybrid for the spinach and for the lettuce-north pole butterhead, rouge d’hiver romaine (pretty red and green), winter density romaine, winterwunder light green loose leaf, and marvel of four seasons butterhead (cranberry tips).  I have a hard time picking just one or two!  Planting a variety also means they will sprout at different times, providing a longer harvest.
I have a nice crop of volunteer lettuce come up in my Earthboxes each spring.  Surprisingly, they were loose leaf varieties-prizeleaf, green and red royal oak leaf, green and red salad bowl, and ashley mix.  Sowing more seed will give more plants sooner.  If they are crowded, I will transplant some into the garden bed when it gets warmer.

For more on starting seeds in your garden, 
Never ending salad from one packet of seeds

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