After all the craziness of the Holiday’s ends in January I turn my focus on my next Summer’s Garden. I sit down and order all my seed catalogs and then wait for a couple weeks until they all start to come in. This is when my planning really starts to begin. I figure out what vegetables I would like to grow again this year and which ones really didn’t work out that well for me and have to then decide whether or not I want to try again. This year we made even more changes to our garden deciding to go from a traditional garden dug in the ground to trying out raised garden beds.
We currently live in Michigan and Summers here are kind of crazy. Some years it is hot and dry and then other years like last year I had to wear a coat into July and it rained 75-80% of the summer. This can make it tricky when trying to grow crops that need a certain amount of warm days to fully grow and produce plants.
The number one way that I have had to learn to combat this dilemma is to start my plants indoors several weeks or months before it is warm enough to go outside. I honestly start some of my plants like my peppers and onions around the beginning of March. I am lucky to have a nice big picture window in my kitchen that lets in a ton of beautiful sunshine so it makes an ideal place to start my seeds. They are able to get all the sunlight but also have the heat from being indoors that allows some of these seeds to sprout. I have tried sprouting peppers in the past and have had a horrible time getting them to even start until I decided to start them early indoors. You can achieve this same idea if you do not have a large window by using fluorescent lighting having down close to the plant.
I start all of my seeds that are capable of being started indoors in my home and then by the time that it warms up enough outside I will have hearty plants that are better capable of handling whatever crazy weather that we may be getting this year. It allows me to start getting produce twice as fast and will be able to yield more throughout the summer.
Here is what my plants are currently looking like…
Yes this is snow in the background in my yard in April 🙁
When you are planning out your garden it is important to read the packages that the seeds come in. These will tell you how many weeks before the last frost you should plant them indoors and if they are even recommended to be started indoors. I know that things like Sweet Corn are NOT recommended to be started indoors and you should wait and plant those after your last frost outdoors.