Montana has a very short growing season. Winters are long and it takes time for plants to mature. Some years are also impacted by drought or too much moisture. Understanding when to start seeds, plant them, and grow them will help gardeners maximize what little time they have.
The recent warming had me in my greenhouse getting organized. Sterilizing and cleaning pots is important. Stocking up on starter media and checking on next year’s seeds is also critical. I have made a list of what I need to get, and some new ideas for this year’s harvest.
My tomatoes last year were exceptional. Planting them with eggshells really helped. Routine soil care and composting made an impact. It’s the little things that make a difference.
Here are some timing clues to consider when establishing this year’s vegetable garden.
Plant Zucchini and squash when the lilac flowers begin to fall.
Put in beets and carrots when lilacs begin to flower.
When daffodils bloom, plant your peas.
When dandelions bloom, plant your potatoes. ￼
Plant beans when apple trees bloom.
When apple blossoms fall, plant cucumbers.
When your peonies are blooming, plant melons and lopes.
Soil temperature is also critical to healthy plants. When certain things bloom, it’s because the soil has warmed up enough for them to thrive.
They say farmers average one great year out of 5 plantings. Usually this is because they run out of time before a frost, Winter drags on before they can plant, or a drought creates dry conditions. In a smaller more controlled garden, you can overcome these challenges. Supplying produce to family and friends is a boost to our health and wellness.
Spring will be here soon!