With temps reaching the 80s in March, spring has sprung a bit ahead of schedule here in northern Ohio.
Although you may be itching to dig in the dirt outside, now is actually the perfect time for starting seeds indoors. (To avoid the damaging effects of a late frost, I normally wait until at least after Mother’s Day – and sometimes even Memorial Day – to plant outside in my Zone 5 garden).
Vegetable Garden Planning: Starting Seeds Indoors
I had a lot of fun deciding which vegetables to plant this year. Rather than go it alone, I asked some young friends which vegetables they’d like to grow – then used their input to find some off-the-beaten-track varieties of common, everyday vegetables.
Some fun vegetable variations:
- Lemon Cucumber: Round, yellow cucumbers with a milder, sweeter taste than standard varieties
- Radishes (Watermelon) – White skins with pink insides – they look like they’ve been turned inside out
- Carrots (Parisian) – Short, round carrots ideal for container gardens
- Swiss Chard (Bright Lights) – This variety features colorful stalks in shades of red, white, yellow, violet, gold and orange; leaves are either a deep green or burgundy with richly colored veins
Whenever possible, I like to direct sow seeds outdoors. However, starting seeds indoors gives some plants a nice head start. Here, we’ve started some sunflowers (Mammoth Russian), lemon cucumbers and cucumbers (Boston Pickling).
And here’s what we’ve got 10 days later…
Next Up: Will start some large leaf and lemon basil over the next several days.
How about you? What are you planning for your 2012 vegetable garden? (Would love to hear from you – please leave a comment below!)