Which is harder… moving a 2 ton rock with your bare hands or figuring out when and how to plant each garden vegetable to achieve a successful crop? My vote is the latter.
To make things easier, you may be tempted to throw all the seeds and plants into the ground at the same time. However, to achieve a successful garden, you must plant seeds according to their desired schedule.
There are three types of crops: cool season, warm season and tender. Cool season crops can be sown directly into the ground in March and April. Such crops include broccoli, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and onions. You can replant a second crop when the days begin to cool in the Fall.
and are typically more “picky”. You must wait until the danger of frost is past to transplant warm season crops. In the Minnesota and Wisconsin region, that is typically mid to late May. Warm season crops include tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.Tender crops include cucumbers, pumpkins and watermelons. You can plant them early similar to cool crops, but place a hot cap over the soil before planting and until the plant emerges from the soil. This helps warm the soil and allows the seeds to germinate.
The University of Minnesota Extension office published a Planting Dates and Distances chart on their website. Not only does the chart list when to start seeds indoors and outdoors, but it also is a quick reference for how far apart the plants and rows must be and how deep to plant each seed for each plant to obtain a successful crop.
Another planting resource is GrowVeg.com. GrowVeg is an online garden planner, whatever the size or shape of your garden or plot. The online software shows how much space plants require and how to group them for maximum success and reduced disease. You can try it out with their 30-day free trial office. An annual subscription is $25.
How will your garden grow?