- sugar peas
- shell peas
- snap peas
- lettuces (all - romaine, leaf, and head)
- red beets
- all other greens: Asian greens, mustard, collards, etc.
- onions (plants or sets, no seeds)
- swiss chard
|Sugar peas popping up|
Ok, you got your seeds and your ground is ready (you dug it, removed most weeds, stones, and grass clumps, and added some amendments such as peat or compost. Not sure? Here's a prepping your soil article from Eartheasy). Planting the seeds is the easy part -- just follow the instructions on the back of the seed packet making sure you plant according to seed depth and spacing between plants. Lightly firm the soil over planted seeds. Mark the row with some sort of marker (I just lay the empty seed packet at the end of the row.) Getting them to grow is the fun part. Note that some seeds can take as long as two weeks to sprout. My sugar peas are just now popping through and they were planted mid-March. Carrots and spinach can sometimes be finicky. Radishes and kale can't wait to sprout.
One really important part to getting the seeds to sprout is MOISTURE. When you plant them, water them if it wasn't raining when you planted. Yes, watching the weather and planting just before it rains is the absolute perfect time to plant. Check the soil in a day or two by sticking your finger in the ground. It should be damp just under the surface. If not, water. Use a setting that will not drown and flood the seeds out of the ground. A sprinkling water can is ideal. It should be a gently watering. It's not unusual to water every other day -- every day if in a super-sunny, dry spot. Seeds need water to sprout.
Not sure if its your vegetable or a weed? Let it go until it gets a little bigger. Or... google it! Seriously. Until I learned what the vegetable seedlings look like, I referred to a seed book to see if it was a seed or a weed. Seeds by Sam Bittman (1989) was my bible when first learning. I still refer to it at least once a year.
It's wise to fence your seeded area. Rabbits, ground hogs, and deer love seedlings and will munch them off to the ground. It's amazing how they'll find their way to your freshly planted garden. With good amended soil, water, and no critters, you'll be eating salad in about 6 or 8 weeks. Early spring seeds grow amazingly fast. They hate the heat, so most spring crops will be finished by the time the heat of the summer rolls around. Have fun.