April is National Gardening Month! Truth be told, I didn’t start my first garden until May 2020. But I wish I’d started sooner because while a lot of my babies did grow, like watermelon for example, they, unfortunately, did not reach their full size and tasted absolutely disgusting. I was still proud of myselg though. 🙂 When growing your own fruits and vegetables, the first thing you need to know is when to start planting. This can be what keeps you from having high-quality produce, and is one of the most important aspects of growing your own food.Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when starting your garden.
- Know How Long the Plants Take
The first thing you will need to do when timing your planting is figure out exactly how long each vegetable or herb is going to take to grow. This helps you to make a plan of attack, as well as deciding if you should start from a seed or a small plant. If you have time to spare, seeds might be best as they cost less, but plants are good when this is more of a last-minute project.
Some of the vegetables and plants that will take the longest are parsley, broccoli, oregano, onions, leeks, and some greens. These tend to need about 10-11 weeks of planning ahead of time before you can enjoy the harvest. The plants that are between 7 and 9 weeks are your cherry tomatoes, peppers, shallots, eggplant, and some types of lettuce. The ones that only need about 4-6 weeks of planning are cucumber, squash, melons, cabbage, basil, and a variety of other herbs.
2. Know What Season to Plant Them
Another method for knowing how to time your planting is looking at the seasons they grow in. Here is an example of food that grows in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. This of course may depend on your climate and soil conditions as well, so it is just an example for you to start with:
Winter – For December, January, and February, you are still in the coldest parts of winter. This is when you want to start your tomatoes and bell pepper seeds, onions, and herbs like parsley, chives, basil, and oregano. Most of these seeds should be started indoors during the winter to avoid the frost. Some others to start indoors are dill, broccoli, beets, and cabbage.
Spring – Near the end of March when spring begins, you can start on your carrots, thyme and sage, lettuce, cucumbers, and corn. Melons, spinach, peas, summer squash, beans, and beats also are good to start in the spring.
Summer – Some of these may be the same as spring because they include veggies and herbs that prefer the hot summer heat. These include beans, cabbage, beets, cucumbers, carrots, corn, peas, and kale.
Fall – In the fall, you can start your radishes, spinach, garlic, blueberries, sprouts, and any vegetables you are starting from a plant instead of a seed.
Now that it’s April, it’s the perfect time to start a garden. As for myself, I’m hoping my seedlings continue to sprout and grow into their beautiful selves. So far, I have watermelon, cantaloupe, luffas, basil, tomatoes and bell peppers. What are you planting this month?