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Veggie Bites – Planting Vegetables

It is not too early to be planting some vegetables such as peas, chard, kale, beets, and lettuce. These cool weather crops will be fine if you plant them early. The peas that I planted covered with a cloche are doing great and starting to grow up the string.

Greetings fellow gardeners, 

The sun is shining this morning, which is a pleasant change from the previous grey days. The bulbs that I have planted over the years are starting to poke through the ground to remind me how colourful spring can be. The weather forecast for the next week is leaning to the cold side, so hang on to your tender vegetables a while longer.

Growing tomatoes

If you planted tomato seeds, by now you will be enjoying some larger plants. Your tomatoes first presented seed leaves and when their true leaves appeared, you would have then transplanted them into a larger pot. I now have several that need to be potted up again, and the netting needs fixing as the too-many cats have been too curious. Even though these plants are large, they are not prepared to be outside. This week I am potting up the remainder of my seedlings and getting ready for the next step. While I started my tomato seeds in a light seed-starting mix, as I pot them up, I use a heavier potting soil until they are planted out in compost and garden soil.

  Various stages of tomatoes

You may find that your tomatoes look a little spindly. While plant lights are great, they are nowhere near the light level of our sunshiny gardens. In about a week and a half, the hardening off process can begin and your spindly seedlings will start to fill out. Now is a great time to decide where you will harden off your tomatoes and other plants. You need a sheltered area where you get partial shade. Your tomatoes are not prepared for the full sun experience and need to be eased into it. I put mine on a shelving unit that I can cover every night. Be aware of the temperatures and weather conditions before you start putting your seedlings outside.

  Hardening off

Planting Vegetables

We are all anxious to get our plants in the dirt. It is not too early to be planting some vegetables such peas, chard, kale, beets, and lettuce. These cool weather crops will be fine if you plant them early. The peas that I planted covered with a cloche are doing great and starting to grow up the string. It is nice to give them some protection from the weather, but primarily I am protecting them from the chipmunks. 

 Peas under cloche ready to climb

Now is the time to get some lettuce seeds planted. I like to plant mine in 8-inch pots that I can move around the garden. At present I put the pots in full sun, but as it gets really warm I will put them in the shade so that my lettuce does not bolt. Lettuce bolts if it is too hot; it grows very quickly upwards and starts putting up a flower stalk and has a very bitter taste.

Keep an eye on the weather as we are having some cooler than normal temperatures. If you go to a nursery and buy plants, be sure to harden them off before planting them in your garden. 

Enjoy your week. Judith. 

Contact Judith through her Website https://www.lapisdragonarts.com/