KUSA - The magic date is just a month away. St. Patrick's Day (March 17) marks the date when it's time to plant seeds of cool season vegetables and flowers. These plants must be planted early. They thrive only in the cool temperatures of spring; if you wait until the heat of summer it is too late and they will fizzle.
Cool season vegetables include radish, peas, spinach, lettuce, kale and other greens. They withstand frost well, although covering with sheets may be necessary if we have deep temperature plunges like we did last April. Other vegetables that may be planted relatively early are parsley, cabbage, beets, turnips, carrots, fava beans and chard.
Cool season flowers include love-in-a-mist (Nigella), bachelor buttons, pansies, larkspur and annual poppies such as California, Shirley and bread seed. These can be sown by sprinkling them on the soil and pressing them in firmly with you palms. Don't cover them with soil.
Many of these seeds may also be grown in pots on the patio or deck. It's possible to start them even now, making sure to keep them outside whenever it's above freezing. If grown for too long indoors they will get leggy and straggly without full sun.
If you don't use an entire packet of seeds, store the remainder in airtight plastic containers in a cool, dry place. The seeds will remain viable for several years.
Seeds are courtesy of Botanical Interests. Their seeds may be found at independent Colorado garden centers or online at botanicalinterests.com.