I am often asked – what am I supposed to plant in the garden at a certain time? I tell them that most vegetables can be divided into two groups the ones that do best in the cooler months of the year and the ones that do best in the warmer months of the year. In my garden I divide the gardening year into 3 seasons. Spring for cool weather vegetables, summer for warm weather vegetables and fall for cool weather vegetables again. As I write this post it will be march 1st in a couple of days and for my area of Georgia 7b that means it is time to plant the cool weather group of vegetables. We will have some frosty nights in March and sometimes it can get down in the 20’s at night. We have to start our cool weather vegetables in March because the window of opportunity to grow them is short before the hot summer arrives in Georgia. I take the approach of planting the first of March and have ready something to cover my plants with on these cold nights. This gives them time to mature before hot weather arrives.
The video below is inside our heated greenhouse where we starting our seedlings so that we can plant them out into the garden as young transplants.
Selecting varieties that mature quickly also helps me to get my plants to maturity early. I chose sugar snap peas, broccoli cauliflower, kohlrabi and cabbage that mature in 55 to 60 days after transplanting. Although many of my leafy greens like collards, kale, spinach, swiss chard and lettuce can be direct seeded I put the first crop out as transplants so that I can start picking leaves in 30 to 45 days. I direct seed some of those crops as I am planting the transplants so that I will have a succession of leafy greens on into the early summer. When it comes to the cool weather root crops I have never had good luck transplanting these and I will direct sow carrots turnips, radishes and beets. For these root crops the soil temperatures needs to be at least 55 degrees (slow germination) and faster germination when the soil temperature warms up to at least 60.
I don’t plant most of my warm weather plants until mid April . These plants include Peppers, Tomatoes, Beans, Squash, Cucumbers and many more.
I will discuss warm weather plants in a later post