At this point though, anything and everything that you want in your summer garden should be planted. Potatoes (which I will talk about), radishes, peppers, lettuce, cilantro, spinach, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, leeks, turnips, chard, beans, cantaloupe, corn any of it! I didn't actually plant all of these things, but you could!
Seeds love the fresh morning dew and the mild sunny days. I would recommend reading the back of the seed packet for each so that you plant them in the ideal location. If you planted a garden last year, try and rotate the crops. Don't plant corn in the same place you did last year because the soil will be depleted of the nutrients corn uses. I personally am not planting corn this year because it was tall and messy and we couldn't actually eat any of the corn I grew (tips please!)
Beware that broccoli and cauliflower turn out to be very large plants, so leave them lots of room or they will envelope other plants. They might be good candidates for planting in the yard, rather than the veggie garden! Onions and carrots are good to plant together because the pests that like to eat one are deterred by the smell of the other plant. Beans need a lattice or something to grow up. The tubers like radishes, beets, carrots, and turnips need room in the ground to grow, so try and put them in loose soft soil next to something that has a minimal root system like lettuce.
I took my own advice in January and planted a variety of lettuce in a pot. There it is!
The one positive of having no more chickens is that I can now replant a garden in the chicken area. They had eaten everything they could get their beaks on! So I went and got myself a bunch of ranunculus and other pretty flowers and planted, planted, planted.
I have been meaning to write about chitting potatoes. There are a few ways you can get potatoes ready to put in the ground. Now, depending on where you are this should be done early in the season while the nights are still very cold but not freezing. You can wait until potatoes in your cupboard start to grow (that happens to me more than I would like to admit). You can also stand a few potatoes up in an egg carton and leave them to sit until the eyes start to grow. Or you can cut up a potato leaving one eye in each chunk. Let the cut up potato dry for 24 hours so the cut parts form kind of a skin. I have found them to be most successful when I plant the whole potato.
This is what the plant looks like when it grows up! The plant will also strive to be above the dirt, so if you keep adding it, it will keep growing and the surface for making new potatoes will increase.
My friend Dan acutally puts an old tire around his potato plants to make a seriously high hill and he says the whole thing is filled with potatoes at the end of the season!
It is still pretty cold for tomatoes. They like it nice and hot. So I would recommend still starting to tomatoes inside if you are starting by seed. I used some of the old plastic containers from flowers and started more tomatoes to make sure I have lots and lots come summer!
I did put a few in the ground about a month ago, but they basically just sit there and don't grow until it is warmer. However, they are susceptible to bugs!
Any time you get a free minute it is good to run out and pick a few weeds. Even if it is only for five minutes. In the spring it is ideal growing conditions and weeds spring up constantly. Last year I let them get so out of control that the weeds literally took over one of the planters. This weakens the soil and destroys the good plants growing.
All of the January planting should be growing in nicely. The onions and garlic should be thin little plants right now. You can basically water them here and there and leave them be until the end of summer.
All the lettuce is growing in nicely and is almost large enough to eat. I try and harvest the lettuce by pulling off the outside leaves instead of uprooting the plant. This way it can keep producing food for you until the heat of summer hits.
The last major battle for me is the slugs and snails, but this is a conversation for another day. If you have any questions, or tips or me, send them in a comment!