It’s been a quiet few months buried in snow up here in Maine. We have experienced one of the most severe winters in living memory, and that means not just snow storms every week but also sub zero temperatures being the norm. There were definitely some days it felt like winter was not going to end!
But the days have started getting longer and the first day of Spring is coming up on Friday. It is time to start thinking about this year’s garden!
Personally I prefer to have a layout and list of what I’m planting before starting the seeds. I usually end up experimenting a bit and changing things, but the outline keeps me feeling like I know what I’m doing. I printed out a calendar the goes into the summer and broke down every weekend with what I needed to plant and transplant, and when we needed to have the beds ready.
The next step in planning is to lay out a basic idea of where everything goes. The garden will be the same size this year but hopefully our additional pumpkin patch will be a little bit bigger (and more successful than last year when we made the beginner’s mistake of planting in the shade).
To help us a long in thinking forward about a green garden, the first few green sprouts have started to come up in a flower bed by the back door, and flocks of robins have started to appear.
The first seeds to start for your vegetable garden (at least in Maine, or other Zone 5 climates) would be onions. You should have planted your onions last weekend in fact, which is what I did. They won’t be ready for transplant outside for nearly two months. Last year I made the error of starting my onions late and rushing them outside, and they did not survive. This year we have some healthy Walla Walla and Red Onion seedlings popping up which will be properly babied until they are ready for the outdoors.
In a couple of weeks I’ll be planting pepper seedlings indoors, and after that eggplant and tomatoes. I’m hoping to get the garden by ready by late April so we can start laying things out and getting hardy outside seedlings like lettuce and carrots into the ground. And soon the snow cover will be gone, and we can see how the garlic fared over the winter.