Increase your harvest with this gardening technique
Success with Planting Schedules
Knowing your first and last frost dates are very important. I usually rely on my Farmer's Almanac for that sort of information, but if you missed getting yours this year, you can review the data on their website here. You may also be able to find more specific information for your area through your local county cooperative extension office. Just Google your state and the term "cooperative extension" for a list.
The next thing that is equally, if not more important to know, is the maturity dates of the plants you are growing. This information can be found on the seed packets or on the plant tags of the plants you have chosen. if for some reason that information is not available, just "Google" it. The Internet is a plethora of information.
Early Spring Crops
Following is a list of crops that can be sowed as early as March 15th, depending on your area. I've also included what soil temperature they prefer for germination. To achieve warmer soil temperatures during cool weather, clear plastic can be placed over the area to speed up the warming process.
- Lettuce - between 32° - 77°
- Peas - between 41° - 86°
- Radish - between 59° - 86°
- Beets - between 59° - 77°
- Spinach - between 32° - 59°
- Onions - between 32° - 86°
- Cabbage - between 59° - 77°
- Parsnips - between 32° - 68°
- Carrots - between 59° - 86°
- Broccoli - between 60° - 70°
- Brussel Sprouts - between 50° - 80°
Late Spring - Early Summer Crops
To get a longer harvest of some of the same vegetables you sowed in early spring, sow more seeds 2-4 weeks apart. In addition, you can sow some of the following seeds in the place of early crops like lettuce and spinach, that don't do well in warm weather.
- Beans - between 59° - 86° (greatly depends on variety)
- Celery - 68°
- Cucumber - between 59° - 95°
- Melons - between 77° - 95°
- Okra - between 68° - 95°
- Tomatoes - between 59 ° - 86°
- Peppers - between 68° - 86°
- Squash - between 65° - 86°
- Sweet Corn - between 59° - 86°
- Turnips - between 59° - 95°
- Pumpkins - between 65° - 86°
- Potatoes - between ° - °
Late Summer - Early Fall Crops
Many of the crops you started in early spring can be started now since they prefer the cooler temperatures of fall. In addition to those, try the following:
- Garlic - 60°
- Kale - between 45° - 95°
- Cauliflower - between 70° - 80°
As you can see, many of these plants need roughly the same soil temperature to germinate, but some plants prefer cooler air temperatures than others. Any leafy green usually prefers cooler temperatures, so if you had an early summer and your crop turned bitter too soon, sow another crop or two in late summer.