How early do you plant seeds??

chickadee__3a(z 3a Ontario)May 9, 2009

Many seed packs and gardening books say to plant (certain seeds) "as soon as the soil can be worked". I'm zone3a in Northern Ontario. I garden in raised beds and my soil certainly can be worked, but we still have very cool nights and some cool days ( high of 11 C today). Do any of you in these lower zones plant this early? Thanks for any input.

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bdgardener(3 AB)

Hi, I'm also in zone 3 in Alberta. I have raised veggie beds and I have planted my parsnips, garlic, onions, peas, swiss chard, and spinach (which is up) all of these are considered cool season crops and can tolerate some frost. But the main thing is that they germinate better when it is cooler. I find it is easier to cover in case of a hard frost when the plants are small (in the early season) rather than when they get bigger. Cheryl

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 12:55PM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

Sorry I forgot, beets are also in. C

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 1:05PM
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oilpainter(3)

We are also in zone 3 in northern Ontario. My test for planting is when you can pick up a handgul of dirt and it feels warm. This year because of the wierd winter and spring we will be a little later than usual, but here is a general rundown of our planting times. All the ones that bdgardener mentioned plus lettuce can go in now.

Other seeds go in somewhere around the 24th of may. it will take about 2 weeks before they are up Tomato and pepper plants go in after the last frost which is usually the second week of June--right around the new or full moon.

A good investment for you with raised beds would be row covers or garden blankets. These are sheets of a special light material that come in sheets 67 inches by 20 feet and cost about $16 You can cut them to fit your raised beds. It is about 2 degrees warmer under them and the light and water goes right through them. I do find that when wet however they tend to flatten the plants so I put upturned flower pots here and there. They can be rolled back and then put on when frost threatens. I rinse mine off and use them again the next year and they last about 3 summers

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 1:29PM
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shazam_z3

Potatoes can also be put in early.

Many of these seedlings can survive up to -10C with no damage.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 3:15PM
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oilpainter(3)

Beets will freeze so watch if you plant them this early.

Usually if the seed package says when the ground is ready to be worked they are frost hardy or else it will say plant after danger of frost is gone

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 3:18PM
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