I went through the seed catalogs for the first time today. It’s a spring ritual to sit down and seriously ponder the possibility that spring will arrive while choosing what I think will be the best tomatoes and peppers to start inside while the snow is still deep outside
It’s an easy decision. Celebrity tomato and New Ace peppers will make the cut for sure. They always do well in the short season zone and perhaps speak to the predictability I want for my own life. Control? That may be too powerful of a word. Let’s leave it at predictability. More like knowing each day the sun will come up–each year I’m pretty much assured I’ll have some red ripe tomatoes and a boat load of petite, but delicious bell peppers.
After I get that out of the way I can ease out of my comfort zone and look at some other possibilities. The possibility that other varieties of tomatoes and peppers may give good results as well, the possibility that maybe some day we really will get to spend a couple of months away from this snow and cold. Oh, the possibilities!
I like the possibilities that the seed catalogs hold for gardeners in the northern region. Like those new meaty egg plants from Burpees, Meatball Hybrid. Is there still be a possibility I can grow an eggplant here in the short zone 4 season? With the weather trending toward an early spring this year and the possibility that I really will get that portable hoophouse up this year, it really could happen. Anything is possible.
There are many varieties of vegies that are possible to grow here in the north. Just make sure you do your homework and order or purchase varieties suitable to the region. Most of the root crops and lettuce greens do well, as do the cool tolerant cole crops, like cabbage and broccoli. Warm season crops like tomatoes and peppers and most of the vine crops will require a little more research on growing requirements. If you’re in the cool Upper Midwest make sure to order vine crops, like squash, pumpkin, and, watermelon, that require no more than 75 days to maturity, unless you have something like a hoophouse or low tunnel to extend the season.
Approximate dates to start the following crops indoors: tomatoes and peppers (March 15-April 1); cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce (April 1-April 31); Vine crops, cukes, squash, watermelon (April 15-May 15).