The time for starting seeds is upon us! Not sure what to sow this year? My advice is plant what you already buy on a regular basis from the grocery store. You are more likely to use what you grow and make a dent in your grocery budget.

When I lived in Brooklyn, I unloaded our weekly groceries and took an inventory: kale, spinach, butter lettuce, figs, onions, dried fruit, eggs, etc. Now we typically have some form of all these things growing or available at home. We preserve the figs and other fruits to get through winter, but eggs and dark leafy greens get gobbled up year round in our garden.

Not sure when to start growing? Here are some of my favorite resources to help you figure out when to plant. Typically I review some combination of these, then make my own calendar based on what I want to grow that season.

Portland Nursery has an excellent planting calendar that I often print off and keep on my fridge. They also have a great pdf on companion planting, in case you can’t remember who likes who in the veggie patch.

YouGrowGirl has an awesomely nerdy “Lazy Gardener’s Seed Starting Chart” created as an Excel spreadsheet. It is really handy for whatever planting zone you live in. Just enter your frost date info and the chart tells you what date to plant various crops.

Oregon Tilth has another great planting calendar. I also recommend the skinny book Maritime Northwest Gardening by Seattle Tilth that gives you a month-by-month guide on what to be working on and planting outside. It’s a great read with lots of other goodies on beneficial insects, composting basics, etc.

Get your soil mixed and soil pots prepped! My flowering quinces are already hinting that Spring is coming.

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