Spring gardening in a cold climate
Are you still waking up to frost? Or even worse, snow? Do you believe
that the rumors of spring have been greatly exaggerated? While
spring may not have arrived to your region yet, it is still
possible to start your garden now.
Why would you consider starting a garden when you are still wearing
long johns? First, you can't get any more local than your backyard.
Second, you have complete control over how your produce is grown,
so you know exactly what was used on your fruits and vegetables.
Finally, eating homegrown produce is a great way to save on your
Here are some tips for starting a spring garden in a
. There are a number of vegetables that can
survive cold weather; many can even survive a light snow. Cold
hardy vegetables can be planted 4 - 6 weeks before your last frost
date. Vegetables that can survive a hard frost include: peas,
radish, spinach, turnips, broccoli, arugula, Brussels sprouts,
cabbage, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, onions,
parsley, and some varieties of Swiss chard.
vegetables that can survive a light frost can be planted 2 -3 weeks
before your last frost. Semi-hardy vegetables include: beets,
carrots, cauliflower, celery, lettuce, parsnips, and potatoes.
Your plants are more likely to thrive, if you start
your seeds inside and then harden off the seedlings
before planting them outside.
I recommend starting them in a larger sized container like a
recycled yogurt cup, so the roots have room to develop and you can
let the seedling grow to be several inches high before
transplanting them outside.
. Planting cold-hardy perennials is an easy way to
ensure a productive garden with a minimal amount of work. Consider
adding these perennials to your garden: rhubarb, asparagus, chives,
strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, and
a cloche to protect plants
from a spring snow storm or hard
frost. You don't have to buy expensive glass cloches; you can make
recycling a translucent plastic or glass container such as a milk
jug or juice container.
a cold frame.
want to start semi-hardy or tender plants early, you can do so in a
cold frame or
under row covers
your garden on wheels.
You may want to consider starting
your garden in a wagon or wheel barrow. You can roll it outside on
warm days and then roll it back into the shed or garage when the
temperature drops below freezing.
a cold-climate garden in early spring requires a little more effort
and planning, but you are likely to find the effort is worth the
savings to your grocery bill.
Milham shares her tips for saving money and time while reducing
waste in her home at Premeditated Leftovers. She
also shares the latest deals and coupons at Saving in Nevada. Her favorite
hobby, gardening, is a frugal source of organic produce for her