Monday, February 20, 2017

The First Seeds I Plant in My Garden Are . . .

In the comments section of one of my recent blog posts, one of my readers, Rain, asked me which seeds were the first I planted in the garden each season.  (By the way, Rain has just started her own blog which you should check out.  She's jumping into gardening with both feet this coming season, and I know her posts are going to be very interesting.  You can find her blog here.)

Between my raised beds and field garden, the raised beds are always ready for planting first.  After our long winter, Papa Pea and I are just about literally chomping at the bit for fresh greens from the garden so an assortment of salad greens is always what I plant first.


 Photo(s) from previous years.

It's almost as if I'm standing by a raised bed with the seed packets in my hand waiting for the day when I can plant.  I pop in several kinds of lettuce, mizuna mustard, arugula, spinach, Swiss chard, and any other greens I can fit in.


And, of course, radishes.  I love radishes.

This won't be my main planting of salad greens, but a sampling (and I'll have to put a cold frame over them) to get that first bowl of salad fixings into the kitchen as soon as possible.


Geez, it's still more than two and a half months before I can even get those seeds in the soil, and now I'm already envisioning how good the first home grown salad will taste.

What I'm curious about now is what are the first seeds each of you fellow gardeners plant?  Does it differ a lot if you're in a more tempered, southern location than I am?  Do you have greens ready early on because you can over-winter them?  I'm really interested in hearing about the first seeds you put in.

24 comments:

Sue said...

Yesterday I planted seeds in a old washtub that is going in my garage stall . It was old seed and I thought I'd try this---kind of like "over-wintering". I'm curious to see if I can get them going . They will be unattended--might be a nice surprise waiting for us.

Kev Alviti said...

Broad beans are normally first and peas for me. Then salad, then it becomes a blur as I plant everything I can!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Unattended? No watering? No light? Will it be heated at all? Maybe natural light from a window? Tell all, please.

Mama Pea said...

Kev - Yes, after the salad greens that I can cover with a cold frame, then the peas are the first thing in the field garden when I can work that soil.

Sue said...

No watering, only light through the garage door windows, no heat. Fun experiment. No loss if it doesn't work. But if it does....woohoo--earliest salads EVER!

Rain said...

Oh thanks for the plug :)...I would love to be able to have fresh salad fixins all year round...I may not set all that up at my rental, but I'm doing research on that as well for a winter garden and what methods work the best for my climate. I also plan maybe a little fall garden...there is so much to think about and my excitement is driving our household batty right now lol...Two and a half months seems like FOREVER...do you ever start seedlings indoors? I will likely do that for some of my seeds this year, but again, I can really only start those in April. I love how delicious your lettuces look! Makes me crave salad!!!

Mama Pea said...

Rain - You're so very welcome for the "plug." I just know your posts are going to be so interesting to so many readers.

I start most of my seedlings indoors. Well, the ones other than peas or beans or ones like that. They go directly into the garden soil. But I do start broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, tomatoes and some flowers. I used to start my pumpkins and squash inside but found they suffered too much from transplant shock so now the seeds go directly into the garden soil and they do better than when I started them inside.

Rain said...

Thanks again. Actually that's really good to know about the pumpkins. We have a short season here...I can only plant them in the ground, likely beginning of June. The ones I chose are for short seasons...mind you, I feel the seasons are shifting a little and we get a longer summer/fall. Anyway the pumpkins are for Halloween only this year, at least that's the original plan, so I'll take what I can get and learn from it! I never thought of starting flower seeds indoors, but it's a great idea.

Goatldi said...

My first to plant were going to be spinach, lettuce and radishes. But with the delay of the green house no go. My hubby is the main gardener in our family and has been as far back as the early '70s. I was an occasional gardener and not always successful. So as time wore on he took over and I did other things like goats and chickens. Now I am doing more he is still the garden guy but I actually in the last 5 years have tried my hand at a few things each year. So now I have garlic in the ground growing nicely but not done yet. As soon as the weather dries out the artichokes should start up again the plants look great. My lavender and rosemary are happy and the fruit trees are started to send out buds. We need more sun to get into gear and since they calling for possible snow/rain showers through the week it will be a wait. But in typical Northern California fashion when it happens we will need to put our track shoes on to keep up.

Kristina said...

I want to say beets, radishes, onions, spinach, but for some reason spinach doesn't do well in our garden. Lettuce grows wonderfully.

Mama Pea said...

Rain - I'm thinking our growing seasons are much the same. We've also been getting longer summer/falls the past several years.

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - That's the neat thing about having a partner in this homesteading life. Each one seems to like and excel at a different thing. I don't know how single people do the whole thing. To have two people working together makes it all possible.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - I have bad spinach years, too. Sometimes it bolts before it even gets to more than baby spinach size. I keep trying different varieties, but it seems to depend on the year as to how it does.

Susan said...

So far, I have a crop of lentils sprouting in the laundry room - does that count? I do (try) spinach and greens in my cold frame as soon as I can.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - You get a gold star simply for having sprouts going! I love lentil sprouts -- yum. Have you ever tried sprouting sunflower seeds in dirt? (You have to get special seeds meant just for sprouting.) They are THE BEST! Very crunchy, juicy and fresh tasting.

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Thanks for the information regarding Rain's Garden Blog. I've added her to my roll :-)

Greens are always a favorite in our house as well. Radish....not so much :-P only because it seems to take over the garden.

I have my seeds ready, just need a garden bed.

Hugs,
Sandy

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Only one garden bed? I'm predicting you're going to need several!

Anonymous said...

Spinach can be a challenge for me. Due to the vernal light change, a spring planting will bolt on me if I plant even a little too late. I try to get spinach in as early as the ground can be work up,usually in a small greenhouse. In the autumn, I've quit planting spinach because of powdery mildew. Frustrating!!

A question for you: Do you sprout your pea seeds before planting? Over the years, much of my pea seed would rot in moist, heavy soil or they would be picked off by birds. I learned from friends that I could sprout my pea seed before planting and eliminate a lot of my problems. It's extra work but worth it.-M

Mama Pea said...

M - I'm happy to say I've never had a problem with pea seeds rotting or getting picked off by birds. (Knocking on wood.) I plant so many shell peas, I couldn't imagine sprouting all of them first. On the other hand, we gardeners do what we have to do!

Rain said...

I've noticed a lot of folks talking about having difficulties with spinach. That's a crop I'm planning for a container or raised bed. I wonder if I'll have the same issues? I'm seeing that I should be planting them early?

Mama Pea said...

Rain - Generally speaking, spinach doesn't like to grow in warm/hot weather. It's classified as a cool or cold weather crop so the sooner you plant it in the spring, the better. Then you can harvest it before the really warm days arrive. Some people have luck planting it as a fall crop, but our weather in the fall seems to go from too warm to killing frost very quickly.

Rain said...

Thanks for sharing that! I had no idea. I'll keep that noted for when I start my spinach this spring. I also just found out that cilantro doesn't really like the heat too much either, it bolts in hot weather - something else I didn't know but experienced that last summer as well! Lots to learn :)

Mama Pea said...

Rain - Yes, lots to learn but that's not a negative at all. I'm still learning new things about gardening and I've been doing it for over fifty years! :o]

Rain said...

:)