Preparation for Spring 2022:
Growing Your Own
Once you experience the delicious bounty of a friend’s home garden, you may get the planting bug.
Here are our tips for next year’s season.
While gardening can feel intimidating if you’ve never done it, growing veggies is fairly straightforward and can be a great project to share as a family over the summer months.
When starting a garden earlier in the season (think Spring 2022!), there is a risk of frost in New England until the beginning of May. Cool-weather crops, like lettuce, onions, carrots, broccoli and cabbage, can tolerate short periods of frost, and for certain vegetables like kale, frost can actually make them taste sweeter! These are safe to plant directly outside once the soil is warm enough to work with.
For intermediate and warm-weather crops, like beans, corn, cucumber, squash, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes, seeds can be started indoors in spring until the risk of frost has passed.
Here’s how to get your seedlings started before heading outdoors:
- Fill any small containers with soil (such as small cups with holes poked in the bottom for drainage or plastic starter containers).
- Plant one seed per container (more if using larger containers) so it has adequate room to grow.
- Read each seed package to learn proper depth to plant and be sure to label each container with what is planted.
- Pro Tip: You can find planting soil and a large variety of seeds in Big Y stores!
- Cover containers with plastic wrap poked with a few holes for air flow, and store in a warm location away from drafts.
- Keep soil moist. When watering, do so gently so as not to disturb the fragile roots being formed.
- Once plants sprout through the soil, remove plastic covering and move to a bright and sunny location.
- Continue to water plants as needed, keeping them damp but not soaked.
- As risk for frost passes, get seedlings ready to head outdoors. Most experts suggest doing so gradually, by slowly increasing their outdoor exposure for about a week before transplanting. This way, the sprouts will best acclimate to their new environment.
- There are ample choices to choose from when transplanting: into the ground, a raised garden bed or a deck pot. The choice is yours . . . Happy planting!