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When to Plant a Garden

When to plant a garden? When is the best time? It is a question that has mystified would-be gardeners throughout the ages. With all of the different advice floating around, it can be difficult to decide. Even when you do, there is usually still some doubt. Especially if your plants fail to grow.

When to Plant a Garden

In this article, we hope to take away some of the guesswork. When it comes to a timetable and sound advice, we have you covered. However, we have to warn you that there are sometimes unforeseen events that wipe out even the most well-intentioned garden. To minimize these happenings, it is important to pay attention to your garden well after planting it.

Cool Spring Plants

By cool, we don’t mean awesome. Although it is true the following plants taste awesome, they also can tolerate colder spring evenings better than most. This even includes some light frosts. Here is our list of delicious herbs and veggies:

  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Mustard
  • Radicchio
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Regular cabbage
  • Collard greens
  • Beans
  • Endive
  • Broccoli
  • Mustard

These hardy, delicious greens and superfoods can actually be planted a couple of weeks to a month before the last frost of the season. In fact, they prefer cooler weather to the heat of late spring and early summer. If you live in an extremely cold or hot climate, take this into account when deciding the right time to plant these cool spring plants!

Swiss chard When to Plant a Garden

The key to planting cool spring plants at the right time is waiting until the soil dries out. You want dry dirt because it is easier to cultivate. There should be very little if any moisture left from the snows or rain. These plants will continue producing until the temperature reaches 80 degrees F.

If you live in a climate where it gets cold at night during the summer, you can continue sowing these plants until winter. This is called succession planting. It is well worth trying if the conditions are right in your area.

Warm Season Plants

Warm season crops can be grown in tropical climates, and usually won’t live if the temperature drops below 50 degrees F. These garden plants are tender. One way to tell if a plant is cold versus warm season is by its fruits. Literally. Vegetables that enjoy the warm weather grow “fruits”. Here are a few examples:

  • Artichokes
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Okra
  • Corn
  • Melons
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatillos
  • Lillies
  • Bleeding hearts
  • Ferns
  • Daffodils
  • Primrose

All of these veggies will not grow if you plant them before or right after a frost. In fact, the soil temperature needs to be at a certain heat level before they will grow. You can usually be safe planting as soon as 2 weeks after your last frost.

tomatoes peppers when to plant a garden

If you want to start your warm season vegetables before the frost, go right ahead. You just need to keep them in a temperate indoor location so they can get their start. This way, you will have seedlings already started when it comes time to put them into the ground. Just remember, they must slowly be acclimated to outdoor life when it comes time.

Cool Season Plants

By cool season, we are referring to the time of year in your area when the temperature starts to drop. In locations with 4 seasons, we refer to this as a fall garden. The most important thing to know before starting this kind of garden is when the first frost is supposed to hit your log cabin.

The most important thing to remember is that you want these plants to reach maturity before the frost. If they don’t get to their full size, the cold weather will stunt their growth and most likely kill them. You can figure out when to plant a garden in fall by doing some easy arithmetic!

  • Check your seed packet, or seedling labels, for the number of days until harvest.
  • Take the estimated date of the first frost, and subtract the number of days until harvest. This is when you should plant. Just remember that the date you are using is just an educated guess. So, give yourself an extra week or two for a little bit of cushion.

Don’t forget that the cooler season means shorter days. Sun loving plants may not do so well in the fall. However, here is a long list of vegetables, flowers, and herbs that will!

levander when to plant a garden

  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy
  • Borage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Calendula
  • Celery
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Lavender
  • Lettuce
  • Marjoram
  • Marigold
  • Mint
  • Nasturtium
  • Pansies
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Violas
  • The 16 vegetables and herbs mentioned under cool spring plants

Frost Hardy Plants

Some of the most interesting plants are the frost hardy plants. These can be planted around your log cabin after the frost, and can stay alive under a bed of snow. If you can, try to cover these plants to ensure their survival and longevity. You can also use mulch.

  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Garlic
  • Sweet peas
  • Forget-me-not
  • Sweet alyssum
  • Rose mallow
  • Onions
  • Turnips
  • Cauliflower
  • Violets
  • Kale
  • Crocus
  • Forsythia
  • Camellias
  • Violets
  • Snapdragons
  • Diascia
  • Nemesia

Crocus when to plant a garden

Don’t forget, these flowers and vegetables are still plants! That means they need as much winter sun as is possible. It also means they should be placed in an area that does not get the cold, harsh wind. This can dry them out as well as knock them down.

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