With weather returning closer to average for April, I’m relieved I didn’t do any premature direct sowing back when the temps hit the 80s (other than spinach that likes cool temps). As recently as last week Chicagoland has received freeze warnings. This coming week looks to be quite warm, but it’s still too early to plant many varieties outside due to nighttime temps still dipping into the 30s and 40s. Even if the cold temperatures don’t kill the seeds/seedlings, it can stunt growth and cause poor performance later in the season.
Yesterday I sowed several seed varieties indoors. Competing with the high winds on the rooftop and lack of space indoors made growing from seed a challenge last year. Without much space indoors to accommodate proper lighting, it’s difficult to grow hardy seedlings that can then handle the hardening-off transition to outdoors. If we don’t get hurricane force winds and marble hail like we did last year in Chicago (literally) then I may have more success than I did last year.
Here are the seed varieties I planted yesterday along with the varieties I’ve added to the calendar for direct sowing in May & June:
Late April seeding for June transplants:
- Cantaloupe (seed saving from an organic store-bought melon)
- Tomato (Atkinson, heirloom)
- Green Peppers (California Wonder, freebie seeds)
- Green Pepper (Big Dipper, freebie seeds)
- Eggplant (Tiger, Thai hybrid)
- Eggplant (Chinese long)
- Sweet Peppers (Shishito)
Seeds for direct sowing this week:
- Extra Dwarf Pak Choi, bok choi
- Pai Tsai, bok choi
- Tasoi Savoy, bok choi
- Cucumber Lemon (heirloom)
Seeds for direct sowing when night time temps remain a bit warmer:
- Malabar spinach
- Green beans
- Acorn squash
We’re planning to supplement these seeds with seedlings from a local nursery that sells heirloom organics… especially if the wind mows down my young ones!