As many of you know I am as interested in gardening as I am in cooking food. If I had it my way I would probably sell all of my possessions, move out to a big plot of land in the countryside and try to live off the land. However, there are all these other pesky things I need to consider like purchasing the land, maintaining property taxes, health insurance, oh and not just up and abandoning my family so I can go be a mountain man.
Maybe when I sort all those things out I can retire the corporate monkey suit.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with saving for retirement. Many would confuse that to mean that I love money and I want to be rich. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I am very cheap and I spend frugally because there aren’t a lot of possessions I truly feel I need. I have an old car, that’s paid off. My wife has an old car, that’s paid off. We live in a small inexpensive home. We don’t put anything on credit cards unless it is being paid off right away, and any spare dollar I can find in the budgets gets squirreled away for the future. So what am I getting at here?
Money to me isn’t about building wealth and showing up the Jones’. To me, money means freedom. Freedom from the rat race. Freedom to live life on your terms. Freedom to take advantage of an opportunity that comes your way. If someday I decide I really want to go live off the land, I want the nest egg to do so. If I decide I want to buy a farm and start my own CSA and farmer’s market stand, I want the financial firepower to make it happen. Or if I just decide I want to have more time when I am older to dedicate myself to my hobbies I want the ability to retire 10 years early.
Whether I am a mountain man, have a farmer’s market stand, or just want to retire and get back to a simpler way of life, it all means one thing: I need to know how to garden.
I have been gardening ever since I was living in an apartment that had a balcony to fit my plants. When I finally purchased my own home my first project was to install an elaborate array of raised garden beds in my back yard. I keep my own personal planting guide on my computer that is tailored to Northeast Wisconsin and I am constantly adding information to it as I learn more about each plant. This includes an excel spreadsheet that I have made to keep track of when I should be starting each of my seeds.
I have copied an excerpt from this spreadsheet below as an easy reference guide for any local gardeners. Please note, these are not the only dates that will necessarily work for each plant, but these are the dates that work for me. There are some plants that I may start indoors that others may wish to start outdoors directly in the soil, to an extent some of it can be personal preference, but I am confident you can replicate my dates listed with success.
When to Plant Seeds in Northeast Wisconsin
When to plant
|Arugula||May 10 - Add more every two weeks||Plant directly in soil|
|Basil||April 7th||May 20th or Later|
|Beets||April 15th (soil temp 50+)||Plant directly in soil|
|Broccoli||March 25th||May 20th|
|Brussels Sprouts||March 25th||June 1st (two weeks after last frost)|
|Cauliflower||March 25th||May 20th|
|Carrots||April 15th||Plant directly in soil|
|Cilantro||April 20th - Add more every two weeks||May 20th|
|Cucumber||May 1st||June 1st (two weeks after last frost)|
|Pickling Cucumber||May 1st||June 1st (two weeks after last frost)|
|Dill||May 20th (60+ degree soil)||Plant directly in soil|
|Dipper Gourd||April 15th||May 20th|
|Eggplant||March 25th||May 20th|
|Kohlrabi||April 15th - June Add more every 2 Weeks||Plant directly in soil|
|Kale||April 15th||Plant directly in soil|
|Lettuce||April 15th||Plant directly in soil|
|Okra||June 1st||Plant directly in soil|
|Onions||April 20th||Plant directly in soil|
|Mild - Moderately Hot Peppers*||March 25th||May 20th or Later|
|Hot Peppers*||March 18th||May 20th or Later|
|Bush Beans||May 10 - July 15 - Add more every two weeks||Plant directly in soil|
|Pole Beans||May 10 - July 15 - Add more every two weeks||Plant directly in soil|
|Peas||April 20th||Plant directly in soil|
|Pumpkin||April 20th||May 20th|
|Spinach||April 15th - Add more every two weeks||Plant directly in soil|
|Strawberry||April 1st||May 20th|
|Sunflower||April 15th||May 20th|
|Thyme||April 15th||May 20th|
|Tomatoes||April 1st||May 20th|
|Watermelon||April 20th||May 20th|
*Mild -> Moderately Hot peppers are anything tamer than a habanero.
*Hot peppers are any that are as hot as a habanero or hotter.
I hope you found my Northeast Wisconsin planting guide helpful. If you haven't tried gardening before I highly recommend giving it a go. It is not nearly as difficult as it first may seem. There is no better way to get a greater appreciation for where you food comes from.
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