On these cold winter days, it’s fun to browse Potomac Garden Center‘s seed displays and plan for that first fresh tomato around the fourth of July. Now is the perfect time to plan the garden and get your seeds planted on schedule so they’ll be strong enough to transplant outdoors when it’s time.
A minimum of six hours of sun per day is a must for growing seeds – you’ll know if you’re not getting enough light if they get leggy and stretch towards your light source – whether it be natural or under grow lights.
A favorite of everyone’s is growing your own vegetable plants from seed. There’s a wide variety of disease resistant tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squashes and leafy vegetables to grow from seed. It’s very rewarding to pick your own fresh, vitamin-filled produce from your own garden or container and create fabulous meals with them when they’re at full flavor. Vegetable gardening makes a rich family experience; children are especially fond of planting seeds and watching them grow (a great way to get them to eat their vegetables).
There are two groups of vegetables – cold crop and warm season:
Cold crop vegetables include beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, lettuce, mustard, peas and spinach. These can be started indoors four to six weeks before the last frost, which in Maryland is around May 10th. If you start your own seeds you can find everything you need at Potomac Garden Center: packaged seeds, starter kits, soil and fertilizers. When it gets close to the time to plant them, harden them off. This means if it is above 40 degrees, keep them outside but slowly move them to full light so they will acclimate to their new environment (move them in or cover them if the temperatures drop). They’ll have a better chance of surviving when they are transplanted.
Cold weather veggies tend to bolt or go to flower and seed when the weather gets hot. This makes them bitter. It’s then time to plant your summer varieties and do another round of cold crop in the Fall to keep the garden producing.
If time is not your friend and full-grown, healthy vegetable plants are more your style, PGC will also have young vegetable plants for you to choose from around the end of April. While you’re at it, plant some cutting flowers, like zinnias or herbs to border your garden masterpiece and add even more color and texture over the Summer.
So plan now and get a jump on your garden. If you love to garden, you’ll love Potomac Garden Center. Our friendly staff is passionate about gardening and is here to help you with your green thumb if needed. Stop by our North Potomac location today. Urbana is closed for the winter but will be open for the Spring growing season with all your favorite plants starting March 1.