Monday, April 15, 2013

How To Get the Absolute Earliest Salad Greens of the Season

Getting the earliest salad greens of the season starts the fall of the year before. You need to prepare the bed where you want to plant the greens the fall before. If it is a raised bed covered with two or three inches of compost it will drain well and warm up quickly once the snow melts.

We try to plant the day the frost goes out or the day the snow melts off. The seed won't germinate until the conditions are right so don't worry if it seems too cold or wet. When the soil conditions are favorable the seeds will germinate and take care of themselves. They are basically on auto pilot at that point and know what to do. If you were to plant these same seeds the fall before the seeds would likely rot or have very poor germination. But planting them in the spring works every time.

I have done this for years and it works great.

On the rare occasion that the season warms up and then turns very cold again you might loose some of the baby plants if  the temps fall below 20 degrees. Planting this early is a bit of a roll of the dice but about 80-90 percent of the time it, this approach is a real winner. If you do get frozen out, just replant quickly. The seed lost is typically only a few pennies worth.

The types of plants that this works for are all frost hardy. Spinach, lettuce, radishes, cilantro, beets, and peas.

Good luck and have fun.

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