Sowing The First Seeds of the Season

By Crystal Stevens

As farmers, this time of year for us is magical. We sow the first seeds of the season in anticipation of longer days and warmer temperatures. For nearly the past decade, we have spent Valentine’s Day showing our seeds some love. It has become a lovely tradition. Seeds sown now in the high tunnel include celery, herbs, peppers, eggplant, cabbage, onions, broccoli, Napa cabbage, lettuce, spinach, and even tomatoes.

We start some things on heat mats and keep the temperature in high tunnel regulated to 50 degrees overnight. The sun significantly warms the soil and the plants during the day.

At home, use seedling trays or egg cartons and build a shelf in a south facing window. Be sure to label seeds and water daily. Think in terms of the end product; something that grows as a single head should be grown in a single cell with 1 or 2 seeds. Something that will grow nicely together such as kale will thrive with 3 or 4 seeds. Outdoors, once the ground has thawed, start sowing carrots, peas, lettuce, kale, spinach and other hardy greens. Plant these according to package specifications. Be sure to keep your garden beds weeded and watered.

We plant new seeds every week from Valentine’s Day through Memorial Day to ensure a nice succession of crops. There is something very rejuvenating about sowing the first seeds of the season. The satisfaction of knowing that you will be providing yourself and your loved ones with fresh homegrown produce is delightful. Happy planting!

Contact Crystal at LaVista CSA Farm, 618-467-2104 or visit online at www.lavistacsa.org or email her at Garden@lavistacsa.org.