For the first time in my gardening years (all two to be exact), I finally got around to planting cool season crops during the cool season! In the past, I always waited until April before planting any seeds outside. But one day last week, March 11th to be specific, I was outside under the gorgeous blue sky, plopping little itsy-bitsy seeds into the soil.
March 11th would be roughly four weeks before the last frost date for my region (April 7th with 10% chance of another frost occurring after that) which I found on this handy website that each gardener should consult for detailed climate info for his/her city. Some cool season crops can even be planted 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost date. Most of the seeds I planted, however, were recommended for the timeframe 2 to 4 weeks.
Into the ground went seeds for monster spinach, lettuce, parsley, beet, cabbage, carrot, leek, and swiss chard. I noticed that the beet and swiss chard seeds looked very similar, and that the cabbage seeds looked like mustard seeds. Leek seeds are so cool because they look like little slivers of coal.
I love cabbage but have been hesitant to grow it because it is well known to attract moths that lay eggs on it which then become tiny little caterpillars that eat the cabbage leaves and become giant caterpillars that will then cause me to scream and run away while hopping up and down. Cabbage: the caterpillar magnet. But I figured if I can deal with a behemoth tomato hornworm that very nearly made me pass out, then I can certainly deal with cabbage caterpillars…..right? I am sensing some doubt here…
WARNING: Scary photo of 4-inch long tomato hornworm below. WAAAAHHHH!
After planting those seeds, I worried about them because I was going away for the weekend and wouldn’t be able to water them. However, it turned out that they only went one day without any water and it’s been raining every day since then. Now I worry that they are getting too much water. If it rains too much, would the seeds be pushed deeper into the soil or brought up to the surface? Either one would not be ideal because it might affect how well the seeds germinate. Not having experience with cool season planting before, I don’t know what will happen. I guess I just have to wait and see!