Ah… it’s that time of year again, spring. The days are slowing getting longer, the trees are budding, the flowers blossoming. The sun has come out from hiding. Before you know it, your thoughts are filled with long summer days, lakes, exploring the beautiful outdoors… and then, you realize, its time to start growing! Maybe you are wondering, what on earth can I start growing in April and May?
aFor those of us who live in south coast British Columbia, here is a short nugget on 5 plants that you can direct sow (plant right in the ground!) in April. In general, the last average frost date has passed (but can still happen) but the soil is still not quite warm. Not sure of your regional frost date? Thank West Coast Seeds, for they have us covered!
Here are five plants that you can get in the ground!
Arugula – Eruca sativa
Arugula is absolutely delicious and loves to be planted in cool soil (spring or fall). Likes full sun or partial shade. This annual green bolts in hot weather. These beauties can be planted directly into the soil every 3 weeks starting in mid-March to April as well as in September. Lastly, plant no deeper than 5mm in well drained soil, full sun!
Kale – Brassica Oleracea
All hail to kale! High in calcium and vitamin C, this winter, zone 6, easy to grow green is a must have for any garden. Kale is a member of the brassicaceae famiy, and loves full sun. You can direct sow starting in March to the middle of July for a harvest in winter time. Easy planting too, sow 5mm deep in each spot you would like a kale plant. Of course, thin out over time for the toughest plant.
Peas – Pisum sativum
Oh sweet peas. Such a wonderful early crop! Peas can be planted as early as the soil can be worked until the end of May. Most varieties of peas will require something to climb up so you may need a trellis for support. Plant seeds about 2cm deep before mid April and 5cm deep after mid April, and about 5 cm apart. Peas do not love to be planted near onions but are good friends with beans! Also, peas are nitrogen fixing plants (legumes) and work together with nitrogen bacteria called rhizobia, to fix nitrogen in soil. This is a process that converts nitrogen from the air to make it available for the plant. Another reason to give peas a chance!
Radish – Raphanus sativus
There are a few secrets to growing great radish. Also a part of the brassicaceae family, these root veggies love cool season, full sun, and to not be planted to close together. Every part of radish is edible. You can plant radish all season, but they prefer cooler temperatures. Plant 5mm deep and thin to about 10 plants per 30cm. You can also let radish go to seed and can eat the pods! Yum!
Spinach – Spinacia oleracea
Another lover of cool weather, spinach can be direct sown March to mid April. You can sow again in August for a fall crop. Sow seeds 2cm deep and thin to around 6cm between plants. Make sure you are planting the right spinach variety for the right season! There are three kinds of spinach: savoy, semi savoy, and the flat or smooth leaved kind.
Happy gardening everyone and stay posted for our next blog!