A few sunny and warmer days have appeared in the weather forecast, and while it's too soon to be putting tender plants outside, it's not too soon to plan your summer garden! The average last frost around here occurs in early April, about 6 to 8 weeks from now. Spring vegetable transplants like broccoli, kale, cabbage, and lettuce can be started indoors now, and most of us veggie farmers have flats upon flats of those crops started already! Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basil, and other summer seeds can be started as early as March, so they'll be ready to transplant into the garden once the danger of frost has passed.
For some of those more popular items, it was a challenge for farmers to find enough seed this year. Interest in home gardening has skyrocketed since the pandemic began, and seed companies have struggled to keep up with demand. But a seed packet typically contains more than you'll want to plant of one variety, anyway, so consider teaming up with your neighbors to share seed -- then you can grow a few of each variety of tomato, rather than being stuck with 30 plants of the same type!
And of course, if you're not set up to start seeds of your own, many of our vendors will be bringing garden-ready transplants to market in the coming months. Here's a detailed planting guide for vegetable crops commonly grown in North Carolina to help you plan this year's garden!