"Is it spring? Do we plant?"
For me, it is a tad too early for the more "April" plantings like carrots and beets since I'll get better germination when its warmer (next week?). Carrots can be a rough germinator, so I try to wait for ideal conditions before putting them in. But, there are a few VERY early crops that can go in ASAP.
So, is it time for the "can be planted as soon as the ground can be worked" plants?
Its a good question. We all know it feels more like spring now than winter. The ground is not frozen, but now what?!
I'm asking the same questions as you all. Here are the steps I go through when deciding where to
First job of the day: check the 7 day forcast. Here in NEPA we have about a week of above freezing temps and a variable amount of rain depending on where you are. What I would love to see is few sunny warm days in the forecast, but its a good enough start since I am itching for something. Mostly, in the very early spring I am hesitant to plant in very cool weather because seeds sit in the ground and wait...and possibly rot if the weather does not get better.
Next, notice what works with my psychology: I look at the first plants that can go in the ground (se chart above), pick the ones important to me (for now lettuce, spinach and then peas) and take care of those before I even THINK about the next ones on the list. If I try to look at the whole list, I get overwhelmed EASILY.
My goals for this weekend when I have the time: preparing 50' spinach rows and a few spots for kale, lettuce, and chard. I know all of these first plants are good in cool soils.
I am not quite sure the ground is really ready for peas, carrots and beets, our next big spring crops to go in, so I will wait until the greens are in before I considering anything else. There is no rush to get parnips in. We plant them mostly for a fall and winter crop. Right now I am dreaming of greens and and then peas. So, that's where I start!!
What is most import ant to you? Remember, the soil needs some preparing (I use a broadfork) before planting, so its NOT just about putting plants in the ground. If you are only a weekend gardener, don't bit off more than you can chew when direct seeding in the garden.
Do you also have fruit trees and berries to prune? It sthe last couple of weeks to do that. Even if its grey out, take in some of that spring fresh air while using your clippers. Its good for the soul to enjoy using your limbs again.
Interested in learning more? We are hosting a 6 part gardening series for only $40. Space is limited so register here for the entire 6 part series which started on March 22nd, but you are welcome to join late. Pre-registration required, scholarships are available. Our next class is April 12th and is about plant propagation and timing.
About Lanie: She is a weaver, healer and farmer located in Sweet Valley PA. She grew up organic gardening in upstate NY and continued the legacy of growing her own food once she finished college. After 20 years as a wildlife biologist working on wind farms in NY and PA, she now as healing practice in Dallas, PA. As part of Our Sustainable Family, she has a craft weaving business as well as offers workshops on gardening, nature connection and healing.