by Connie Oswald Stofko
It’s finally time for us to start thinking about starting seeds inside!
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that all this snow melts at a nice, steady pace so that our garden beds will be dry enough to for us to plant cool-weather vegetables in April.
As the folks from Lockwood’s Greenhouses in Hamburg told us in a previous article, cool-weather vegetables are the crops that can take some cooler weather and light frosts. They are plants such as spinach, lettuce, kale, broccoli, peas, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
Some of these plants, such as lettuce, you can sow directly outside. Others you’ll want to start from seed and transplant the seedlings outside in April. Now is the time to start those seeds indoors.
The room where you start these seeds shouldn’t be too warm, said Teresa Buchanan, garden center manager at Lockwood’s. You want an area that is cool, with high temperatures in the 50s or 60s Fahrenheit, but is sunny. A breezeway or hallway with a sunny window is an excellent location. Get more details on cool-weather vegetables here.
If you don’t want to start them from seed, Lockwood’s will also carry some cool-weather vegetables already started for you. Look for them around the middle of April.
Tomatoes and other tender crops, annuals
Many of our favorite plants, such as tomatoes, can’t be planted outside until the danger of frost has passed. In Western New York, we use the rule of thumb that those plants shouldn’t be in the ground until Memorial Day. That means you should start seeds inside for tender plants about the end of March. That gives you the next couple weeks to organize your supplies.
Goodman’s Farm Market in Niagara Falls carries Premier ProMix soils and trays to start seeds, as well as Burpee seeds.
Try something new
Did you know that the loofah you use as a scrubbing sponge is actually a dried gourd?
You can buy seeds for the vining plant that produces those gourds at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville.
In their new line of Renee’s Garden seeds, you can find plants that are a little bit different, including some heirloom varieties of vegetables and organic seeds.