April 3, 2013

What and When to plant things in the North

 guest blogger: Katie English!!

Katie and Derrick Hastings have been organically farming in the Yukon for about 8 years.
I was trying to figure out when to plant what, indoors, so I asked her.
The info I got was too valuable to not share!
So she wrote me this lovely post about planting...

They live very far north - zone 0.

People said things can't be grown organically up there.  To that they said: "look at this wonderful garden produce!"

Remember they are zone zero, so adjust to your zone...
for instance:  if you live in Southern Saskatchewan, you are probably between zone 2 and 3.  So you can do things about 1/2 a week to 1 week earlier!

Here's Katie  (March 21st):

If you are anything like our family then you too are itching to get your hands in the dirt. Up here in Dawson City Yukon we are still seeing temperatures of -37,  lots of sunshine but plenty cold and plenty of snow covering that dirt. That’s okay though there are other ways you can get your spring on and get those hands dirty, like…. 

Starting some seedlings indoors! I know the question for most is what and when to start certain varieties. So I will tell you what our planting schedule is like.

When March rolls around the first thing you should really start thinking about is those leeks and onions, why you could have even started them as early as February…
Next for the beginning to the middle of March- Celery, Tomatoes, Peppers and herbs such as Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary and Parsley. 

Some flowers are ready to start now like Lobelia, Hollyhock, Lavender, and Salvia

Mid to end of March- You can still start herbs, Tomato's and peppers (they just wont have as much of a head start) as well it is time to start Eggplants, Snapdragons, petunias and pansy.

Beginning of April - cucumbers, asters, alyssum, chrysanthemum, verbena, poppy.

Mid April - Broccoli, Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Kale, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Collards, Lettuce, Melons, Basil, Dill Tarragon, Calendula, Cosmos, Marigolds, Bachelors buttons and Zinnias

End of April/beginning of May- Zucchinis, Squash, more lettuce and greens.

You can direct seed outdoors as soon as the ground can be worked.  Your seeds will instinctively know when they should sprout outside.

Your seedlings need lots of light to grow strong and healthy. If you have a large south facing window this may be enough light to keep your seedlings strong.  If you do not have enough natural sunlight you can consider supplementing with full spectrum lights.  If your plants do not get the light they need in the beginning, they become long and spindly.  This is your plant's attempt to reach out for the light it requires.  Long spindly plants have weak stems and therefore the plant becomes weaker.  However, not all is lost, there are ways to remedy this situation.  You can pot up your plant completely covering the stems, this will help to strengthen the stem and in turn strengthen your plant.

When the days become warm enough you should start bringing your seedlings out during the day to harden them off.  Exposing the plants to natural elements will help prepare them for the day they are to be planted out.   If you do not harden them off, your plants can go in toa a state of shock when you transplant them setting them back a couple of weeks.  Make sure not to plant anything out until after your last frost date.  

Happy Planting!
From the Northern Clan
Katie, Derrick, Autumn, Cecilia and James  

Katie and her blueberry faced daughter on a hike (S.Frisch in back)

Check out their Facebook page on which you can purchase some GREAT salves, teas, seeds and oils.
I know the products they make are lovely and effective because 
I have been using them for years.  
The teas are beautyful and a lot of it is homegrown or wild crafted.

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