Tomato and Basil Planting

Today the tomatoes, basil, and tomatillos went into the garden. These tomatoes are Stupice, Ace, Gold Nugget, and Siletz. I fit 14 basil starts, in clumps of 2 & 3, around the edge of the box- basil and tomatoes are good companions for each other! This spot gets plenty of sunshine, so I hope to get good crops this year. The plants will be a bit squashed when they get bigger, but tomatoes like to grow that way. It’s still a bit cool for tomatoes- night are in the high 40’s and low 50’s, and tomatoes like nights over 55. But, they were getting big, and I am impatient!

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Spring Planting Time (And a Master Planting List)

We’ve finally had some honest to goodness sunny days!  The kids and I have snatched all the sunny afternoons we can the past week- my war against weeds continues (when I stop and ponder why ALL my weeds are on the invasive species list…I realize, isn’t that the definition of a weed?)  We finished the March plantings on Saturday (yes- March 31st.  I’m still totally counting it as on time!)  This week is supposed to be awful and rainy, but today was a shirt-sleeves and sunshine kind of day, so our April plantings are done now. April 2nd.  Considering that a good portion of my seeds are 2 and 3 years old, and have been stored indifferently in the garage or cupboard, I’m not too worried about being over run with plants.  Hey, maybe they’ll crowd out the weeds!

It was too cool this year for my greenhouse seeds to really take off in February when I planted them, so my tomatoes and cole crops are really behind.  I’m not too worried about the tomatoes, but we’ll see if I can get any cabbage and cauliflower harvested before the weather turns too warm.  I think next year I’ll sprout the seed trays indoors, then move them outside to grow- sprouting is the tricky part out there in February!

I realized the other day that I never posted my master planting schedule- reading through lots of different sources, I started seeing a pattern in when things are planted.  Here are my rules of thumb for seed planting around here (Pacific Northwest):

February: Start seeds indoors for your tomato family- tomatoes, tomatillo, ground cherry, peppers.  Start seeds indoors for cole crops: cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli

March: Start seeds indoors for basil.  Set out cole crops.  Plant cool, long-season, veggies in the ground (think thick leafy greens): lettuces, beets, hardy greens like kale and choi, peas.  Also potatoes and onions.

April: Plant root vegetables (carrots, turnips, radishes, etc.)  Plant flower seeds. 

May: Plant hot season veggies- beans, corn, cucumber, squash

June:  When nights are above 55, set out tomatoes/peppers.  Could be early July.  (For more info on how I do tomatoes, see this post.) 

July: Work backwards, and plant what you planted in April for Winter harvest- your root vegetables can be stored in the ground, with a cover of straw.  

August: Now plant what you planted in March (cole crops, non-bulbing onions like green onions and leeks)

September: Quick crops, like lettuce and spinach you’ll harvest young, and radishes

October: Garlic