When to Plant
With the Colorado growing season averaging only 157 days, “when to plant” is a critical question. We suggest planting all of your cold season crops in April. Planting the first week of April is great, but cold crops can be planted anytime in April or even May.
For planting, we have developed a One Page Master Planting Document with almost everything you need to know about planting each individual plant (date, seed depth, plants per square, seed vs transplant, etc.). We suggest printing it each year for your reference.
Some Cold Season Crops to Plant in April
- Leafy Greens (such as spinach, lettuce, kale, chard, arugula, mustard greens, bok choy)
- Root Crops (such as radishes, beets, turnips, parsnips, carrots)
- Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cabbage
Seeding Vs Transplanting
Direct seed: To plant seeds directly into the soil.
Transplant: To plant seedlings (also called “transplants” or “starts”) that have already grown for several weeks indoors. Plants with a long growing season are usually transplanted for faster maturity.
How to Seed: A general rule of thumb is to plant seeds at a depth equal to three times the thickness of the seed. Only plant one seed per hole. Cover the seeds with soil, lightly tamp the soil above the seed, and water your garden to promote germination. Plant a few more seeds than what is recommended in case some don’t germinate, and be sure to thin the plants once they emerge.
How to Transplant: If possible, avoid purchasing transplants that are “root bound”. Purchase dark green, healthy-looking plants. Handle the plants gently. Transplant in the evening when the weather isn’t hot, but the soil is warm. Water your plants immediately after planting. The Urban Farm Company dips the root ball in a transplant formula with beneficial bacteria and fungi to give the plants an extra boost.
It’s often difficult to remember which plants should be seeded or transplanted. In short, most cold season crops—besides broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, and a few others—should be seeded. Most warm season crops—besides beans, squash, and a few others—should be transplanted.
Here’s Your Master Planting Guide!