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The Kitchen Garden

We are about 6 weeks from the average last frost, which means that cold season crops can be direct seeded: beets, carrot, endive, fava bean, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, parsnip, peas, radish, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips.

If you have not yet started the following crops indoors then do so now: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. They like a little head start, but transplant them outdoors within 4 - 6 weeks of germination to avoid 'buttoning' and malformation of heads.

Tomato seedlings showing their first set of true leaves

There is still time to start tomatoes indoors. It is a little late to start perennial herbs, peppers, onions or leeks as these are slow growing plants. Talk with your local growers and nurseries about purchasing seedlings.

Generally, it is advised to start basil indoors now. This is a very frost tender plant and it also gets grumpy if it becomes root bound. My best success with this annual herb is to direct seed it at the very end of May.

If you have onion or leek seedlings under lights, then it is time to harden off and prepare for transplanting into the garden in 7 - 10 days.

Rhubarb has begun to emerge in the garden. Our soils have been quite dry, if we do not receive more moisture in the coming week then your perennial plants may appreciate watering.

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