It's New Years Day and I am planning my spring garden, or I should say, my earliest possible spring garden! I went through the seeds leftover from last year, made a list of what I needed and even placed my first seed order of 2014. Over the next two months, I plan on covering the remaining beds with either cold frames or hoop houses to help extend the growing season.
My earliest spring garden will consist of salad greens, lettuces, a few root vegetables, and some herbs. This can be started as soon as the soil can be worked. The use of the cold frames and hoop houses should help expedite the soil preparations. Salad greens and lettuces like it on the cooler side and will not bolt in the early spring. Since they are easy and quick to grow from seed, I plan to direct sow them into the ground. This is also the time to start radishes, beets, parsnips, carrots, kohlrabi and onions. The following herbs also don't mind the cooler weather and can be direct sown- dill, chives, cilantro, parsley, sage and fennel.
Leafy greens love nitrogen, so add a little compost or manure to the soil prior to starting. Since it is so early in the growing season, there is really no garden pest. Also, many greens are "cut and come again", offering multiple harvest.
You can also consider direct sowing broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. However, I like to start these indoors and transplant them out into the garden at their appropriate times. And don't forget that the unofficial planting date for peas is March 17.
So, even though it is only the first day of the New Year, I am eagerly looking forward to early spring and getting back out into the garden again!