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In many parts of the country, spring is in full swing in April! Other regions are experiencing their first mild days after a long, chilly winter. Regardless of where you live, you can finally get outside and start enjoying warmer weather, budding trees, and longer days. Flowers can be planted now in warm climates, while cold-hardy vegetables can be seeded directly into your garden in most of the rest of the country by mid to late April. Read the seed package to learn the best time to plant, or check with your local university coop extension service find yours here for planting times and last frost dates in your area.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Pennsylvania Planting GuideContent:
- How to use cover crops in a home garden
- Guerrilla gardening
- Community Gardens
- Garden Topics: Starting a Vegetable Garden
- It’s not too late to plant a vegetable garden
- Fall Gardening
How to use cover crops in a home garden
Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Growing vegetables is pleasurable and rewarding, and takes up many accomplished gardeners' summer seasons. In areas like Pennsylvania, fall and winter bring an end to summertime vegetables, which require warmth and sun to survive. Winter doesn't mean you have to pack up the garden for the year, though. Change your vegetable selections and methods to plant vegetables in the fall and harvest over the winter.
Choose the right site for your fall vegetable patch. This is especially important in winter in Pennsylvania, when temperatures drop below freezing. The warmth of the sun will be vital for the survival of the vegetables, so choose a spot that gets bright sun for at least five hours a day. Keep in mind that the winter garden may need to go in a different spot than the summer garden, to account for sun movements. Choose appropriate vegetables for the timing. Popular winter vegetables include asparagus, rutabagas, lettuce, broccoli and potatoes.
Carrots, cabbage and some types of squash will also grow year-round in outdoor locations. It's important to choose the right vegetables for good growing success. Amend the soil in your garden site with a mixture of half compost and half quick-draining soil to give the vegetables the foundation they need. Turn this mixture into the top foot of the garden soil, to ensure good drainage and nutrition both around and below the vegetables.
Plant vegetable seedlings and seeds at their preferred depths and spacing. Water the garden with 2 inches of water immediately, and put the garden on a weekly watering schedule of 1 to 2 inches per week. Use hand watering to supplement natural rainfall, which will become plentiful over the winter. Once a month, add fertilizer to the watering, to supplement the nutrients in the soil. Spread 3 to 4 inches of organic mulch around the plants before the first frost, to protect the plants and their roots from freezing temperatures.
Maintain this layer through the winter to maintain protection, and supplement with winter blankets available at home and garden shops. Spread blankets over the garden before any large storms in the area, to keep the vegetables from freezing.
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Remember that seeds take longer than starter plants to produce vegetables. Some seeds are best started indoors up to weeks before your last frost date. Growing Your Own Fresh Produce. Decide how ambitious you want to get with your vegetable garden. No matter what size you decide to make it, be sure you choose a location that gets at least six hours of sunlight — the more the better. Consider whether you want to grow vegetables in the ground, raised beds, containers or a combination.
If heat, humidity, gnats and bugs, along with constant watering and weeding are just not your thing, then fall gardening should be pure pleasure.
The most important factor in planning a vegetable garden is location. Choose a site with full sun, good drainage and no standing water, even after the heaviest rain. Keep the garden away from trees and shrubs, which may compete with vegetables for water, nutrients, and light. If you cannot identify a location with full sun, leafy vegetables, such as lettuce and spinach, require the least direct sunlight, only 4 to 5 hours. Root vegetables require 5 to 6 hours, and fruiting vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini, require at least 8 hours. No vegetables can grow in total shade.Some other location issues are ease of access to water for irrigation, tools to maintain your vegetable garden, and proximity to your kitchen to quickly prepare or store your harvest. If deer or other wildlife are in the area you might also need to consider fencing to keep them from damaging your crops. Once you've decided where the garden will go, it's time to choose which vegetables to grow.
Garden Topics: Starting a Vegetable Garden
Contact Press. Tickets Season Passes Book Sales. Garden Guide Click on an area on the map to learn more about that location. Teacup Garden With playful verve, the Teacup Garden takes on a different personality each year. One year it adopts the tropicalismo look, replete with subtropical and tender plants that thrive in our sultry summer nights.
When you live in Philadelphia, you can garden through three seasons. Knowing when to plant certain vegetables will allow you to enjoy a home-grown bounty in spring, summer and into fall.
It’s not too late to plant a vegetable garden
While you can certainly do a thorough end-of-seasoning gardening cleanup and you should! Read on for the best ways to leverage the last of the pre-winter weather for a successful fall vegetable garden. To determine how much time you have left in your local gardening season, find out when to expect the first frost in your area. Next, check the days to maturity of the vegetables you would like to plant to make sure they fit into your time window. Days to maturity is the number of days from the time when the seeds start to germinate to the time of harvest. For example, bunching radishes germinate in as quickly as three to four days, and then take 20 to 30 days to mature.
Salpiglossis is a really fun plant. No matter what you call it, this underused cool weather annual is a terrific addition to your flower beds and containers. My introductions to new plants come from an array of sources—trial garden visits, emails from growers and colleagues, presentations, seed and plant catalogs. And sometimes, plants themselves or seeds arrive on my doorstep. The seeds will make it under my grow lights in spring, among tried and true favorites, usually of the veggie variety. And then I watch them throughout the growing season. I watch to see how they perform in my growing conditions, I see what happens when unpredictable weather occurs, and if they can withstand it, and I take a lot of pictures. If you are looking to add a plant with a lush, tropical vibe to your houseplant collection, look no further than the kangaroo fern.
Growing your own garden vegetables slims down the grocery budgets and Stan's Garden Center, in Erie, PA, has a vast selection of homegrown garden.
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions.RELATED VIDEO: When to Plant Vegetable Gardens
As more people request native species, they become easier to find and identify at nurseries. The more consumers request native plants, the more this supply is likely to grow. Below is a listing of opportunities and places throughout the state that specialize in native species. Each spring, some Pennsylvania state parks and their friends groups hold native plant sales. Plant sales normally are held at the end of April to the beginning of May at the following state parks:. The Pennsylvania Native Plant Society advocates conservation of native plants and their habitats, and promotes the increased use of native plants in the landscape.
NOTE: All member and nonmember tickets must be reserved in advance, and masks are strongly recommended for all guests and required for unvaccinated guests ages 2 and up. Learn more about how you can join us!
Whether here in York, PA or elsewhere, we at Miller Plant Farm know that the ideal garden soil is fertile, deep, easily crumbled, well-drained and high in organic matter. Thorough soil preparation before planting is needed for growing garden crops. The deeper the soil is worked the greater its capacity will be for holding air and moisture. Adequate amounts of organic matter in a soil result in quicker growth. Such soil holds more water, is mellower, more easily penetrated by the roots and richer in food materials. Every gardener should have a soil analysis done. This will show the pH level, or acidity of the soil and the level of nutrients available to the plant.
Planting spring vegetables is a task many gardeners relish. After spending a long winter indoors, gardeners are anxious to step outside and get their hands in the dirt. Here are five vegetables that thrive in the cool weather of early spring, going from seed to harvest well before the summer temperatures soar.