02 April 2012

Spring Planting Frenzy

The three of us went to Target on Saturday to get a couple of things, and while we were there, we decided to get some garden supplies.  After last year's garden fiasco, where I bought a bunch of bizarre, heirloom vegetables that never produced, Austin recommended that maybe I just buy seeds for plants that we would actually eat.  So I only picked out what I would actually grow and eat....25 different seeds. 

And after starting a garden last year in July, and basically getting nothing from it, I was determined to have an early start this year.  So Mimi and I decided to start some seeds today:  baby watermelon, roma tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, sweet peppers, and hot peppers.  Then she graciously gave up a sunny corner of her playroom to set them up in.

We also planted, in a different container, cucumbers, sweet peas, and rosemary. 

This is what we have left to plant: 

A lot of what we have left needs to be direct sowed, meaning we can't transplant it.  Last year, when thinning my carrots, I tried to replant some of the seedlings, resulting in carrots with oddly human shapes....they looked like a pair of legs with curvy hips and narrow waists.  I have a picture around somewhere. 

So what I'm trying to figure out is when to plant directly in the garden.  The only other gardener I know up here is Grandma Glenda, who doesn't plant until June.  I can't wait that long.  I know I have to wait for the last frost, but that could potentially (rarely) happen in the summer.  Do I wait a few weeks until the last average frost?  Or can I plant and then cover up anything if there is a frost?  If the plants are small enough, and there is a frost, could I just cover up the seedlings with Dixie cups or something?  Desperate for advice.


  1. You, my dear, are in planting zone 3, so you look on the seed package and see when the average last frost date is and that is when you plant. I've always planted a couple of weeks before that date and then if it is going to freeze that night, I just cover up my seedlings with bedsheets or blankets or whatever I have. You know I don't grow veggies anymore, so if I have flowers outside that might freeze, I sometimes, cover with flower pots or pails. I've even been known to cover my taller plants with my winter coats. Whatever works. Good luck with your garden this year....

  2. According to this website http://www.garden.org/zipzone/ I am in zone 5a...which means the last frost free date is May 30th. I can't wait that long! I am hoping that I am not zone 3, as the last frost free date is July 15 for that zone. Ugh. I will probably plant early May as long as my seedlings are big enough and just cover them up if it freezes.

  3. I didn't know wheere in the state of Montana you lived, so I guessed at zone 3 (oops). I plant about May 10th and then cross my fingers and toes and have only had to cover plants twice in all the years we have lived in our house. I think you are a little north of us so you should probably wait a few weeks and then get ready to cover with sheets or towels. Just cover before dark so you don't bump into any bears!!

  4. You can cover up all your seeds with straw. We did it in my botany class to help the seedlings grow and get big enough to actually withstand the environment. :)

  5. Bristii Bristii Bristii! Ok, straw, I can do that. Just down my road, they advertise straw bales for like $3 each. Thanks! That might also possibly keep the weeds down, too.