Seeds To Start

Gardening This Week 2024: 11 Weeks Until Last Frost

This is the first post in this new series and because of that we have a bit more to go over. in this post we’ll cover what we’ve done this week as well as everything else we’ve done so far in 2024.

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Since it’s still 11 weeks until our last frost date here in Zone 5B, we haven’t done too much – but let’s get into it. Please subscribe below if you would like to follow us on our journey.

Week Ending Jan 28th 2024:

We started sweet potatoes indoors for planting out in our garden beds after our last frost date. This is 15 weeks before our last frost date because starting sweet potatoes takes FOREVER!

The process to grow sweet potatoes starts with rooting the potato in either moist soil or water. Then, waiting until “slips” start to grow. Slips are what each sweet potato stem is called.

Starting Sweet Potatoes in soil and water.
Starting Sweet Potatoes in soil and water.

Once you have slips you need to remove them from the sweet potato and root the slips in water. Finally after the slips have developed roots you are able to plant them into your garden to grow sweet potatoes.

This whole process is why we started 15 weeks before our last frost date.

Week Ending Feb 4th 2024:

14 weeks before our last frost date we start our first set of onion seeds. These onions won’t be planted in our outdoor garden, they are for our greenhouse.

Onions are typically started 8-10 weeks before being transplanted to their final growing space. We will transplant these into our greenhouse around the end of March.

Onions Seedlings
Onions Seedlings

The best thing about onions is that they can all be started in the same pot. Onions don’t need individual growing spaces before being transplanted.

Week Ending Feb 18th 2024:

At 12 weeks before our last frost date we started Tomatoes, Basil, and Kale. These, like the onions from a few weeks ago, are going into our greenhouse.

We are doing 3 types of tomatoes this year, less than we’ve done in any previous year. We cut back on the tomatoes because using the greenhouse give us such a long growing season the tomato plants get out of control by the end.

The basil we plant in our greenhouse does a dual purpose job for us. We harvest it like we would any basil plant but we also use it to propagate more plants to plant outdoors in our main garden once the time comes.

Tomato, Basil, and Kale Seedlings
Tomato, Basil, and Kale Seedlings

As for the kale, we wanted to started 4 plants so we could get an early harvest from our greenhouse, but as you can see above only 3 of ours germinated.

Kale is a cold hardy plant so we will be able to transplant it into the greenhouse at the beginning of march. At that time we will also direct sow Carrots, Radishes, and Lettuce in the greenhouse as well.

Week Ending Feb 25th 2024:

Catching up to what we did this past week at 11 weeks to last frost, we have started something old and something new to us.

This past week we started Rosemary and for the first time we started Goji Berries.

Rosemary is a perennial herb depending on where you live, but unfortunately it’s only hardy to zone 8. Here in zone 5B we need to grow it as an annual.

For most of the seeds we start, we use soil blocks, but for anything where we need an extended growing period indoors, we use a 4 inch container.

Goji berries are a newer entrant to the “superfood” category. The reason we chose to plant them is because they are a perennial down to zone 4.

Goji berries are a fruiting shrub plant. They can grow to over 10 feet tall and over 4 feet wide. They are fairly easy to prune to keep a manageable size and can also be grown in pots.

The fruit will be limited in the first year but you can get a full crop of berries by the second year which is faster than most fruit bearing trees and shrubs. It also doesn’t require much, if any, fertilizer.

We are super excited to be growing Goji berries plants this year and will definitely be updating the progress on these.

Upcoming Next Week:

We don’t have anymore seeds to start until we get to 8 weeks before last frost when we’ll start more onions and peppers. The next few weeks will be taking care of our seedlings and watching for germination from this weeks seeds.

The Goji berries will germinate in 15-30 days and the rosemary will germinate in the next 14-21 days.

This concludes our first entry into our gardening this week series. We hope you enjoyed it and we hope you will subscribe and follow along with us on our journey. Also, be sure to check out our other blog entries where we have growing guides, seed saving guides, and recipes.

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