By Montana Grant

Posted: April 29, 2021

Spring means gardening. We all love fresh salads, herbs, and spices to go with our wild caught fish and critters. Celebrating our homes with flowers and plants is also fun.

Most folks begin their gardens and seeds too late. Montana Gardening is tough due to such a short growing season. In the Bozeman area, the scheduled final frost is usually mid-June. The Farmers Almanac says June 6th, this year.

Frost is a garden killer. You can start in early May, but you risk losing your plants. If you do start an early garden, use Walls of Water to protect the small seedlings like tomatoes. You may also need to cover or tarp your plants if the weather turns cold. The first frost in the Fall is predicted for Sept. 12th.

With luck, you may get a fresh tomato by the end of July. Salads, squash, strawberries, and onions are better suited to the colder start. You can start these seeds now, in the garden.

Many gardeners prefer to start seeds early. This means a greenhouse is needed. Honestly, February was the time to begin seeds. If you only need a few plants, buy them from the local greenhouse vendor. You can get great quality and diversity. These started plants are months ahead of any new seed planting. In the long run, you will get produce sooner, better, and cheaper.

If you Sow your own seeds

use a quality soil. Make sure the garden soil is ph. balanced and turned over.

Pick seeds that produce quickly

Water the seedlings with a mister. Allow a waterproof tray under the seedling container to self-water. This will direct the roots downward.

Transfer the sprouts to a drainable Miracle Grow, or fertilized soil.

Once the sprouts are growing, climatize them outside a week before planting. Place them out of direct Sun when climatizing.

Maintaining watering is important after planting. Make sure that you have a sprinkler system, or some means to keep the plants happy and healthy.

There is nothing like building a salad that you grew yourself. Serving fresh veggies with you game and fish makes it even more special!

Chow down!

Montana Grant