Winter Garden Planning

February Is A Great Time To Organize Seeds According To Planting Dates

By Crystal Stevens

February is a great time to start planning your garden and ordering seeds.

Seedsofchange.com has an excellent variety of Organic Seeds. Rareseeds.com (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds) is a great resource for heirloom seeds. Seed Geeks, a local St. Louis company, offers a nice selection of open-pollinated seeds.

Garden Planning
Organize your seeds according to planting dates. For small scale gardening, accordion-style organizers work well.

Start the following seeds indoors under grow lights or in a greenhouse mid-February through mid-April: broccoli, bok choi, kohlrabi, cabbage, onions, scallions, eggplant, early tomatoes, and peppers.

Plan the layout of your garden. Draw sketches of your garden design. Keep in mind companion planting, light and water requirements, height, spacing, and aesthetics.

Winter Garden Prep
Create raised beds with straw bales, cinder blocks, and untreated scrap wood, or fallen logs. After creating the raised bed structure, add a few layers of cardboard at the bottom to help suppress weeds. Add leaves, straw, grass clippings, and compost to help build healthy soil and provide space for roots to grow. Next, add half compost and half topsoil. Finally, your top layer should be well-decomposed compost mixed with topsoil. The top layer should have a fine tilth to make it easy to plant seeds. Compost and soil can be purchased by the truckload from St. Louis Composting.

Greens such as kale and lettuce varieties can be planted by seed outdoors in raised beds once the ground thaws. To get a jump start on gardening, build a few cold frame structures using cinderblocks and upcycled windows. Add soil and compost and directly plant in the cold-frames.

For more garden tips, follow Crystals adventures in gardening on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube @growcreateinspire

Crystal Stevens is a local farmer, artist, herbalist, and educator. She is the author of Grow Create Inspire and Worms at Work. Crystal and her husband, Eric own a farm business called Flourish, specializing in botanicals, plants, produce, herbal products, and garden design.