An Erie Gardener's Timeline
Lately, seasons seem reluctant to play by their old rules, so ideal planting dates might vary by even a few weeks. Plus, the farther you live from Lake Erie, the shorter your growing season, according to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
Regardless, I've kept track of my own yearly gardening timelines, and here's what's worked for outdoor planting in my backyard.
(If you start seeds indoors, be sure to carefully monitor weather patterns and forecasts, so your little darlings can graduate on time.)
Gather inventory; order seeds as needed.
Sow peas, spinach, mâche and onion sets once ground is workable; sow kale, chard, arugula, lettuces, cilantro and other greens once wintry weather ceases.
Harvest garlic scapes and peas; remove/compost early greens or allow to bolt (or ﬂower) for seed-saving; plant tomato, eggplant and pepper plants; sow basil, dill, and other non-perennial herbs.
Harvest onions once desired size; dig garlic for drying/curing; sow fall peas, spinach, and other cold-hardy greens.
Harvest and ﬁll the freezer.
Allow cilantro, kale, arugula, etc. to bolt and self-sow; plant garlic cloves around Veterans Day; let some chard and cold-hardy greens overwinter.