Which Vegetables and Fruits Will You Plant This Season?

I hope you had some kind of garden growing at your home before you became acquainted with 4Patriots. Or that our emails on this subject convinced you to start one.

Either way, in addition to stockpiling survival food, the best thing you can do to avoid future food insecurity is to grow your own. That never-ending supply of vegetables and fruits will keep you and your family fed no matter how many emergencies you deal with. 

And the end result is far more than having life-sustaining food you'll be able to eat fresh or store for the future. It's also the peace of mind you'll achieve during what are sure to be trying times ahead. Tough to put a price on that.

The question you may be asking yourself now that planting season is here in many parts of the country is, "What should I plant?"

Will you go with the exact same vegetables and fruits you grew last year? Or do you want to replace some of them with other options? Or perhaps stick with them but add others to the mix?

Cool-weather vs. warm-weather crops 

Today I want to focus on the best crops to plant in March and April. Now, if you live in northern Montana, your weather will be very different from that of those residing in southern Florida. So, take everything with a grain of salt and adjust based on how warm your soil is.

March tends to be rather unpredictable in many areas of the country. You could get a frost one night and hit the 80s a day later. Many folks like to keep row covers handy to protect their perennials from a March frost or freeze. 

If you're in a cooler climate, you might want to start some of your warm-season plants indoors. Such as sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, etc. They can be moved outdoors once your soil temperature reaches 60 degrees Fahrenheit. And when you do… choose an overcast day to avoid "transplant shock."

Prior to then, when your garden soil reaches 40 degrees, you can start planting cool-season plants outdoors. Fortunately, there are many of these types of crops and they all taste great.

Including lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, onions, peas, radish, beets, carrots, Swiss chard, and kale. Kale grows quickly and doesn't mind shade. Lettuce, spinach, and radish do better with sunlight.

Soil quality is important

Backtracking for a moment, before you plant anything outdoors, an important consideration is the acidic level of your soil.

Ideally, you want a pH level of 6.0 to 6.8. You can determine this with a pH kit you can purchase at any garden center.

If your soil level is not between 6.0 and 6.8, use organic matter to increase or decrease that level. There will be instructions on the package regarding how to do this. 

And even if your soil tests between those levels, it could probably still use a little help each spring in the form of compost or peat moss to improve its texture and add nutrition.

And don't forget one of the most important things for all your plants ‚Äď water. Make sure they get plenty of moisture right after you plant them. Then add mulch to keep that moisture in and discourage weeds from growing.¬†

Of course, continue to water regularly while your plants are growing. Remember that plant roots will continue heading downward, so you want to make sure they'll find water when they get there.

Follow directions carefully 

OK, that brings us to April. Again, depending on what part of the country you live in, temperatures will be different. But keep in mind that in some areas you could still get an April frost. Heck, frosts even occur in early May in some places.

If you're an experienced gardener, this will be rudimentary for you. But for you garden newbies, seed packets you buy should include detailed instructions regarding how deep and how far apart your seeds should be planted.

Those packets should also tell you when to plant outdoors, based on the timing of your last expected frost.

If you have a mostly clay soil, growing vegetables could be a challenge. Make sure to add plenty of topsoil before planting.

Well, that's it for today. We'll talk more about seeds, vegetables, fruits, soil, and other gardening issues in the near future. In the meantime, Happy Gardening!

Comments

  • Melton Pearson - March 12, 2023

    Very beneficial

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