By: Jennifer LaMontagne – Horticulturist – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI
Are you itching to grow some fresh vegetables of your own? Knowing your hardiness zone and growing season length can help you decide the best vegetable varieties to grow. Vegetables need the optimum amount of growing days in order to produce a mature crop. To get the most harvest possible, try growing cool season crops. Whether you start your own seedlings indoors or buy them from your local greenhouse, it’s a good idea to gradually acclimate them to the outdoors.
Here in Wisconsin, the growing season is relatively short. Therefore, when choosing vegetable varieties, make sure you choose those that take 80 days or less to mature. This is because if you select a tomato that takes 120 days to mature, you may not get a full harvest from that plant. The tomato will not have enough time during the season to fully mature. Seed packets will tell you the growing information on the back. When buying greenhouse seedlings, ask nursery staff if you are unsure.
Do you know what planting zone you are in? At Bloch’s Farm, we are in zone 5a. If you don’t know your hardiness planting zone, you can find it in a gardening book, by searching online, or asking one of your local greenhouse nursery staff.
Get the most out of your growing season by growing cool season vegetables. Cool season vegetables tolerate and often prefer cooler soil and temperatures. Examples of cool season crops are: peas, lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard, cabbage, broccoli, and beets.
If you started growing your seeds indoors or bought new seedlings from your local greenhouse, they need to become accustomed to their new environment before planting them outdoors. A few weeks before you plant the seedlings outside, set them on a shady porch or under a tree for a few hours, gradually increasing the time in the sun each day. Be sure to bring them back indoors for the night. After about two weeks, they should be acclimated enough to stay outdoors, assuming temperatures won’t drop below freezing at that point.
Bloch’s Farm is open 7 days a week from 8 am to 6 pm. We have a huge selection of herbs and vegetables, trees, shrubs, annuals, and perennials! Stop in today and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you! Feel free to call 920-294-6000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Don’t forget to visit our website online at www.blochsfarm.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t miss out on this weekend’s sale: May 14th – May 16th: 20% Off Bagged Hardgoods and Garden Gloves!