There is a general feeling about the New Year, we welcome it with positivity and best intentions. Then the cold settles in, and it is a battle you cannot fight fairly. This is what I thought about winter for years, until I discovered my love for gardening. For me, January is a time of planning and growing. If you are not familiar with garden zones, Kansas ranges from USDA Zone 5a to USDA 6a and 6b.
Meaning January and February are the best times for seed starting. Our last frost date for 2020 is April 21st and our first frost date will be October 13th, meaning we have 174 days of growing! Getting a head start is important and sets us up for a successful growing year. We cannot control how the weather will be, but we can plan as much as possible and having a plan will allow some flexibility.
Once you figure out your garden zone, find out what you would like to grow. I am in zone 6a and I typically grow whatever we love to eat the most, and then I experiment with something new if I know I’m going to have time to experiment. My favorite seeds are from Baker Creed Seeds, Johnny Seeds and Floret Farm. There are many seed companies out there, I always look for those with sustainable practices. Make a list of the items you want in your garden and get your seeds right away. When your seeds arrive, they will have dates on them, and you will know if it is time to start growing them. There are many guides on the internet, but I am a big follower of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
My garden list for zone 6a this year looks like this:
· Brussels Sprouts
· Pumpkins / Squash
· Strawberries (ordering live plants in February)
Once I have my list, I search for the specific variety I want to grow! Each variety can be good for a different time of the year or garden zone, allowing me to grow something longer.
*Make sure the seeds you select are in in your garden zone. * You will noticed I didn't buy certain seeds from my list, this is because I already own those seeds. Keeping inventory of what you own is very important.
Organic Seeds from Johnny Seeds:
Organic Cucumber Seed
Organic Lettuce Seed
Organic (F1) Tomato Seed
Organic Snack Pepper Seed
Organic Onion Seed
$35.39 - free shipping
Heirloom Seeds from Baker Creek
$5.50 – free shipping
Flowers and Pumpkins from Floret Farm
$23.74 with shipping
There you have it! This is my rough draft! Next, I will draw my garden plot and choose where things will go. Looking forward to sharing the next steps with you.
wishing you a successful gardening year! - Queren