As we enter the month of February, it’s time to start preparing for the growing season.

“Timing is critical when starting seeds indoors; starting too early can lead to unhealthy, overgrown plants. Ideally, transplants are relatively small and stocky plants that have five to seven leaves. Best results are obtained by reading the seed packets for starting dates of both vegetables and flowering annuals. The time needed to grow a transplant is usually given on the seed packet in weeks from the date to plant them outdoors, which for warm season plants is typically Memorial Day in central Minnesota,” Beth Berlin.

Planning Your Vegetable Garden:

1. Decide what you want to eat. Is your goal to grow for your summer diet? Or do you plan to can or freeze your harvest for the winter months? Planning how you will use your produce is a great way to narrow down what to plant.

2. Decide how much space you can reasonably prepare for planting and maintenance. Is your garden already established or do you have to build or expand? Whatever garden space you have whether it’s a few containers or an acre, it is wise to draw it out on paper, make a spreadsheet, or draw a picture of it so you can map out your plans. Get the kids involved! It’s really fun to make a plan for the growing season. Remember, there are also a variety of plants you can tuck into your landscaping.

3. Get organized. Go through your seeds and see what you think might still be viable.  An idea to stay organized is to create a seed box, sorted by variety and planting date. This part of planning helps to save you time and will come in handy next year when you begin planning for 2019.

Visit Mustard Seed Garden Center for more advice and ideas from the experts.