I wanted to share with you our growing calendar and some simple improvements we have for this upcoming growing season. With it being late January, we are now starting our second round of seeds, tomatoes! We will start these tomorrow so they are strong and healthy and ready to plant and produce in May.
Two weeks ago, we started our peppers. Where we are in western Pennsylvania, we are in zone 6. We get our first frosts in early-mid October. That doesn’t give us a very large growing season if we start peppers and tomatoes in the springtime. Our peppers are usually flowering when we put them in the ground in May. Although planting them stunts their growth, it is better they are more established and developed during that transition. All plant babies are stunted when they are first planted. Their roots take time to adjust.
In the first week of February, we seed our lettuces, kale, broccoli and carrots. These plants can be planted early and grow quickly. We plant them in mid-March for our first harvests. Carrots are the exception. Carrots take a while. However, we plant them a little later because of space. When you are growing nearly 1000 seedlings, time and space are very important considerations.
The very last vegetables we start are squashes such as pumpkins and zucchini, we also start melons, peanuts, luffa, cucumber at the same time. All of these i seed in the first week of April. They grow very fast and cannot be planted in the ground until all frost has passed.
My timeline I have used for the last five years and works well for us. Please, if you wanted to adopt a similar timeline of your own, consider which growing zone you are in. Someone in zone 4 should not be following this timeline. Always refer to your seasonal farmer’s almanac for when to plant too. Although it is a guideline, I have had a lot of luck planning with ours.
This year is our first year growing luffa. I will document and share its progress as we go. I am so excited to have homemade luffa to share with our homemade soap!
Since we moved into our home, we have been slowly building garden beds to organize and help make future growing seasons easier. Last year, we put on a large grape trellis and six additional beds just for vegetables. We have a completely separate garden area for tomatoes, peppers and squashes. This year, I am hoping to fence in and streamline our garden even further than ever before. My goal is always to garden with practicality while still making it beautiful.
Check back soon for more details about garden planning, raised beds, and more! Our garden season is just beginning and we have so much planting left to do!