Monday, February 16, 2009

Planting dates for Ottawa?

Intrepid gardener from I Wet My Plants blog came by my house with her seeds the other day. I only took 3 seeds, really, I was good. In fact, she had come round to pick up some hot pepper seeds that I offered her on Ottawa Plantcycle. While I was browing her seed boxes, we were discussing the best times to start different veggies in the Ottawa area and like always there was contraversy. Different sources will tell you different things. I figure it is because some are more optimistic than others. Also weather varies from year to year and garden microclimates vary from yard to yard BUT...

... here is a rough guide to when I start common vegetables.
P.S. I am on the optimistic side.

Anytime from November to February - wintersow perennials, plants that need stratification or cold hardy vegetables

February 1st to 14th:

- start inside anything that says 10-12 weeks before last frost
- start inside anything that you plan on tricking into thinking it's two years old like globe artichokes
- most kinds of alliums like onions and leeks

March 1st:

- start inside anything that should be started about 6-8 weeks before last frost but is sloooow to germinate like peppers.
- stuff that is supposed to be started 6 weeks before last frost but that I am planning on protecting under a polytunnel or growing in pots and taking indoors at night.

March 14th:

- Tomatoes
- Remaining peppers
- Ground cherries, sunberries and the like
- Early plantings of brassicas like chinese cabbage and broccoli, and long season brassicas like cabbage

April 1st (or as soon as the ground can be worked):

- Peas
- Spinach, cold hardy greens
- Parsnips
- Radish
- harden off leeks and brassica transplants during the day if nice weather

April 14th (when warmer days start but ground is still moist)

- Carrots
- Beets
- Lettuce
- Transplant leeks, and brassicas under cloche, coldframe or row cover
- Start hardening off frost tender plants like tomatoes during good weather

May 1st

- mulch soil in plastic for soil warming purposes
- plant potatoes
- start corn and melon transplants (if transplanting)
- seed more short rows of greens

May 14 (usually frost free after this but varies)

- Direct seed vining crops like pumpkins, cucumbers etc... May need row cover
- Direct seed beans
- Transplant tomatoes if weather looks promising. Be prepared to cover if late frost threatens
- can seed short rows of greens

June 1st

- All solanums should now be in the ground including peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and okra.
- Transplant sweet potatoes in plastic mulched soil.
- Sometimes I start another patch of peas
- Start brussel sprouts, kale can be started now too.

July 1st

- start fall crops like florence fennel, many brassicas, lettuce, greens
- start second crop of carrots, beets and turnips

August 1st

- quick growing greens for maturation in cool weather

September 1st

- start watching weather for early frost
- plant up peppers if they will be overwintered but keep outside, watch for pests

September 14th

- take cuttings of sweet potato and other plants for overwintering
- generally potatoes, sweet poatoes, and winter squash have all be harvested

October 1st

- set up polytunnels, and coldframes around fall crops for longer harvest
- all overwintered plants are inside at night and outside during good weather

October 14th - November 1st

- after a few frosts start digging up all roots for storage
- plant garlic

November 14th - December 1st

- start mulching chicory or other crops that you wish to overwinter for seed production etc...

December 14th - February 1st

- wintersow
- remove snow from coldframes and polytunnel

I'm sure there is more and I'm sure other gardeners do it differently with great results. I'd love to hear your experiences! If I forgot to add a vegetable, let me know and I'll include it.


Daphne said...

That groups seems like a wonderful resource. I wonder if there are any like that in my area.

hw said...

Ohhhhh....I love this task master list. I always wondered when to plant my peas, spinach and carrots as I didn't think I could start them this early. Thank you!

Apple said...

Thank you

Ottawa Gardener said...

You're more than welcome Apple. I hope this schedule works of you. P.S. I couldn't view your profile but if you have a blog, I'd like to take a look. :)

Apple said...

I used your link as my reference for my blog on gardening if you don't mind. I am still learning gardening. Here it is my blog:

Banjo said...

Thanks so much for the info.. Need to get the timing right to get the most veggies!!

kirby said...

Hey - I am wondering if you know any farms around Ottawa/Gatineau where I can go to buy my vegetables as seedlings. I usually buy seedlings at the Market in May but would really love to go to the actual farm to pick them out. Any idea of anywhere that sells a nice variety of different vegetables as seedlings?


Unknown said...

What a great list, thank you! The only suggestions I would have is to add brocolli, my guess is it would go with the April 14 list (at least that's when I'm planning on planting the seeds!)

Ottawa Gardener said...

This is an old list. I have an updated one on my sidebar. I have an unconventional way of planting broccoli that works for me which is to plant much earlier than often suggested.

Val Collins said...

The Kanata Marigold Friendship Garden here.
We have a number of intrepid gardeners anxious to get a leap into growing for the year. As you suggested we started when the soil was workable and have planted what you suggested and also our favourite new veg - KALE. Last year it was the first to emerge and feed us all through the year, never bolted and was the last bit of goodness to end the season with November's hard frost.
This year we also planted tomatoes out into our boxes with a plastic bell or "cloche" to see if they survive - a whole month before one should. Thanks again for sharing - its how we grow.