Planning For Cool Cool-Season Crops

Veggie Planting Guide

Oh Happy Day…I saw it, I really saw it.  My grape hyacinths peeking through for their Spring 2011 debut!   Not only does it give me the warm and fuzzies knowing that spring is imminent, but also a little foreboding in the realization that a little bit of work is required to prepare my garden this season.  No matter how you view it, all signs point to the fact that the time is upon us for planning and sowing seeds.

Last year was the first year in many years that I tried my hand at growing vegetables. I was fortunate enough to have a garden plot at a local state park where I was surrounded by folks who have gardening deeply embedded in their souls.  I’m still awe struck thinking about the skill and knowledge of my garden plot neighbors (George, Shane, Pat I’m talking about you), no doubt acquired over many decades.  They answered all of my dumb questions, without making me feel small, and at the same time energized me for more discoveries.

I learned a lot of important gardening nuggets last year, but maybe one of the most important things (and somewhat the hard way) was that I didn’t need to wait until after the “frost date” for my first plantings.  Cool season crops such as peas, spinach, and beets like it chilly (who knew!).  The above chart (and corresponding article ) is a good guide to when and what to plant.  Your county extension office will have more specific info for your region and zone.  But in the spirit of getting busy with cool cool-season veggies- let’s get busy!


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