Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Early Bird Vegetables

20150430When night temperatures begin to rise above 40˚F (5°C) and the soil in your garden has dried out a bit, you can start sowing your first vegetables outdoors. Not just any vegetable, however. Only those that tolerate cold nights, such as the following:

  • Beet
Broad bean
  • Carrot
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Pea
  • Radish
  • Shallot (bulb)
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard

Sow the seeds at a depth about equal to three times their height. And be patient: early sowings germinate more slowly and irregularly that the same seeds sown at the end of May. Also their growth may be considerably slower, particularly if the temperature remains cool. But still, it’s a start!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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