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It’s Planting Time!

Last week I talked about prepping your garden for planting.  Today I’m going to show you how to plant your cold weather veggies.


I buy seed potatoes at the grocery store (ours has a ‘garden’ dept. in the summer months) or at the farm store (they sell onion sets/plants, potatoes and seeds in the spring).  What you are looking for is a potatoes with multiple eyes growing, such as this one:


You’re going to cut the potato into smaller chunks that have 2 eyes each.  I cut this one in half because it only had 4 eyes and I only wanted 2 hills.


Dig a nice deep hole (it’s handy when you have a hunk who can do it for you!).  12-24” deep is good, and pile up the dirty next to the hole to use later.  Put your cut up potato in the hole and cover it with a few inches of dirt.


As the potato grows you’ll use that extra dirt to pile in the hole.  Don’t cover the potato plant up completely but the purpose is that the plant will keep growing ‘taller’ and you’ll keep sort of burying it.  Then the potatoes will have a lot of room to grow in that big ol’ hole you dug but are now filling in.  Easy, right?



Start off by digging a trench a few inches deep with the edge of your hoe (Heeeeyyyy!  Hoooeee!).  You can make your rows as long or short as you want.  Just try to keep them straight, they look prettier that way!  Make the rows about 12” apart.  Tip: don’t let your preschooler do it for you if you want neat, straight rows. Ha ha!  What a cutie!


Sprinkle your carrots down the row carefully.  Try not to dump a big pile together because they won’t have room to grow nice long roots (carrots) if they are too close together.  As they come up you can thin them out a bit by pulling some of the plants.  I always love digging up the carrots in the fall and finding two that have entwined themselves together like lovers. Hee hee!  Can you see the green specks? Those are the seeds!


Carefully cover them up with the dirt that piled up as you pulled that hoe down through the dirt. A couple of inches of dirt to cover the seeds is all you need.  Use your 7 year old for the back breaking work if you have one.



In the past years I have ALWAYS used onion sets to plant.  They are like dried bulbs, basically, that you plant pointy side up.  The last 7 years I have had terrible luck growing nice sized onions. They’d always be kind of smallish and just disappointing. So this year I am trying onion plants.  They come already growing with the green tops.  I’m hoping this makes a difference for me.



To begin you start off the same as with the carrots – hoe a trench.  About 6” deep or so.  Rows should be about 12” apart.  Then you just hold the plant in the dirt and cover the bottom bulb area with dirt, such as this:


Then you stand back and admire your work.


I love seeing a row of goodies popping through the dirt in the garden!



You want to give your newly planted seeds a good drink of water.  Or if you’re like me, you watch the forecast and see that it’s going to rain in the next day or two and wait for nature to do this for you.  About a half inch of ‘rain’ is a good start.  A good soaking.  Then sit back and watch your garden grow!  If you’re going to have a dry period you may want to water your garden once a week, but for the most part it’ll just take care of itself.


It’s a good idea to keep the weeds to a minimum so you’ll want to till or hoe your garden weekly.  We have a mini cultivator that does a good job so we make sure to plant our goodies far enough apart for that to get between the rows (about 15” apart).  You may also need to do some hand weeding if some of those nasty things grow up within your rows of veggies.  I’ve seen people put their grass clippings between their rows to keep the moisture in and weeds out, I think I’ll give that a try this year.

If you are planting other cold weather row crops such as peas, radishes, lettuce, follow the same directions as the carrots.  If you are planting ‘plants’, such as cabbage, cauliflower, just read the directions on the tag that comes with the plant.  Dig a small hole, put the plant in there and cover up the roots, water it in.  Make sure you have them spaced far enough apart so they have room to grow and you have room to hoe around them.

I’m going to plant my green beans in another week or so because I don’t want the beans ready to pick until end of June.  I will plant my tomatoes, green peppers and jalapenos then, too.  I’ve been saving my milk jugs to cover them and should have enough by then. 

Any questions?  Want to know about something specific that I haven’t touched on yet?

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  1. I great up with a little garden where my brother and I would plant veggies and fruits to eat! Now, I'm worried about the crazy amount of deer we have out here. Might have to build some type of fence or netting to keep them out!

  2. I really need to start gardening....we have plenty of space now and I loathe produce prices

  3. I love this!!! Thanks for this post!

  4. I love gardening! My in laws have about 5 acres of veggies!!! I eat, freeze and can a lot!! I feel like Betty Crocker now :)

  5. You have the cutest little helpers!

  6. I wish we had more space for a garden. We dug up a bit of the front yard and planted some tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, and this year...Brussels sprouts! The kids wanted to try them, so we said "go ahead!"

  7. Oh wow, thanks for the tips!! I love the pictures of the boys planting too!