Summer is upon us in the Twin Cities, and it’s time to get outside to start working in yards, adding flowers to patios, and planting a garden in Minnesota.
Each type of vegetable has a different planting timeline. Planting can range anywhere from early April to the middle of June. When buying seeds, check the back of the packet to learn when the optimal planting period is for a garden in Minnesota. There are great resources from The University of Minnesota that share when the best time to plant a variety of vegetables outdoors.
You can always start your plants indoors in mid-February to mid-March. To begin this process, you will need dirt, plastic growing trays that have a plastic cover, seeds, and a growing light. Once your plants grow inside, “harden” your plants (acclimate them to the outdoor weather), then transplant.
Minnesota climates allow most vegetable varieties and herbs to grow throughout the summer. When choosing what to plant in your own garden, the two most important things to consider are how much light will your plants have and how much space your garden or container(s) offer. Some plants, like lettuce, can thrive off a minimum of 4 hours whereas others, like tomatoes, need a minimum of 8 hours of sunlight.
There are two different types of crops that can be grown in Minnesota: cold season and warm season crops. The cold season crops (lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts) must mature before hot temperatures. These are plants that you must either start indoors or purchase from a local garden center like Bachmans. Warm season crops (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, summer squash, and herbs) need to be planted after the last frost (typically mid-to-late May).
Having fresh herbs right on your patio is a great addition to your kitchen! Cut fresh herbs while cooking throughout the summer.
Container gardens in Minnesota are the perfect place to start if you are new to gardening or don’t have a lot of space. You only need pots/containers, dirt, plants, and a spot with sunlight.