Planting Guide for Manitoba

Please find enclosed this useful information: (I have obtained it from another source, alto I can not recall from where…) and am thus “borrowing it”…so that everyone interested in starting their own seed could benefit from it.  Mandy

Planting a vegetable garden is not hard, but without careful planning and proper follow through, your garden may perform poorly.

Soil Preparation

Soils should not be prepared for planting when too wet or too dry. If soil sticks to your shoes or shovel, it is too wet. Press a small amount of soil in your hand. When the moisture is right, the soil crumbles and breaks into small clumps. If it is too wet, it stays molded in a ball.

Have your soil tested for the amount of fertilizer or manure to apply before planting. A routine soil test gives information on any lime requirement, phosphorous and potassium needs and estimated nitrogen requirements. For information on soil testing, call your local county extension educator.

Rake or harrow the planting area immediately after tilling or spading. A firm, fine seedbed is best, particularly for small-seeded crops, but packing the soil too much could promote crusting of the soil surface and damage emerging seedlings. Tilling the soil in late fall facilitates earlier spring planting.

Planting Early Crops

Cool Season Crops

You can sow early “cool-season” crops such as lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peas and onions immediately after preparing your garden plot. Mark the rows by stretching a string tightly across the area where you want a furrow. Use the corner edge of a long piece of angle iron or aluminum to establish a furrow with a uniform depth.  The use of a hoe handle or shovel may create a furrow with variable depths and result in non-uniform emergence, particularly with small seed vegetable crops. You can usually sow sandy soils a little deeper than clay soils.

Warm Season Crops

Wait until danger of frost is past (mid-to-late May) before transplanting tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and similar “warm season” crops.

Tender Crops

Cucumbers, pumpkins and watermelons can be seeded earlier by placing hot caps over the soil one week before planting. This warms the soil and helps those crops germinate more quickly. Keep the hot caps on until the plants emerge and are growing vigorously.

Starting Plants Inside

Warm season crops need a long growing season and usually will not mature if seeded directly in the garden. Cool season crops must mature before hot weather. It is necessary, then, either to start these crops early inside or to buy plants at a garden center or greenhouse. Start seeds in plastic trays or peat pots that are 3-4 inches deep. A good soil mixture contains two parts loam, one part sand, and one part organic matter. Thoroughly mix the soil in a wheelbarrow with a shovel and sift it through a ¼-inch mesh screen. Premixed soil mixtures are available at garden centers.

Fill the transplant tray or peat pots with the soil mixture and carefully firm the soil along the sides. After filling in the depressions, level the soil to about ¼ inch below the top. Firm the soil evenly. Sow the seed by making a ¼-½ inch hole using a dibble or pencil with a tape mark to keep the depth consistent. Sow 2-3 seeds in each tray cell or peat pot.

Start warm-season crops later than cool-season crops. Peppers and eggplant germinate slowly and should be started before tomatoes. Cover the seeds lightly with sand, screened soil, or vermiculite. Gently water the transplant trays using a fine screened waterer to prevent washing the seeds out of the soil. Cover the transplant tray or peat pots with clear plastic and keep in a warm room until germination. As soon as the seedlings appear, remove the plastic cover and keep the seedlings in full sunlight or directly under fluorescent lights. Once the seedlings emerge, thin to one plant and apply a starter fertilizer of 1½ tablespoons of 5-10-5 in 1 gallon of water. Apply approximately ¼ cup of the solution to each seedling every two weeks until transplanting. Rinse the seedlings with water after fertilizing to prevent leaf burn. “Hardening” transplants by shading them for a few days outside using either a lath house or shade cloth and slightly withholding water (but not to the point of wilting) will reduce plant growth delay after transplanting, otherwise known as “transplant shock.”

Transplanting

Transplant in late afternoon or on a cool, cloudy, calm day. Water plants well before transplanting. Cut the soil between the plants with a knife so each plant can separate easily with a substantial root ball attached. Seedlings grown in separate containers can be transplanted without disturbing the roots. If seedlings are transplanted in peat pots, make sure the top edge of the peat pot is not exposed above the soil surface or the peat pot will act like a wick and rapidly draw the moisture from the root ball, stressing the plant.

Scrape the dry surface soil from the planting area. With a hand shovel, make a hole large enough to easily receive the root ball of the transplant. Firm the soil around the roots and water with the starter fertilizer solution. Apply ½ cup per plant at planting time.

Transplanted crops may be set out in the garden a week or two before it would otherwise be safe if hot caps are used. Remove the caps after the air temperatures get real warm during the day. If paper hot caps are used, punch ventilation holes in the tops. High temperatures within the hot cap can kill young plants.

Planting Dates and Distances for Garden Vegetables

 

Planting dates

Planting distances (in inches)

Vegetable

Start seed indoors

Plant seed or plant outdoors

Between rows, hand cultivated

Between plants

Depth of seeding (inches)

Amount to order per 20 feet of row

“Packet” refers to average commercially-
packaged seed packet.

Asparagus

April 15 – May 1
(crowns)

36

12 – 18

6 – 8 (crowns)

15 crowns

Beans, snap (bush)

May 15 – July 1

18 – 24

3 – 4

1½ – 2

3 – 4 oz

Beans, snap(pole)

May 15 – July 1

36

4 – 6

1½ – 2

2 – 3 oz

Beans, dry shell

May 15

18 – 24

3 – 4

3 – 4 oz

Beans, lima

May 15 – June 10

18 – 24

4 – 6

3 – 4 oz

Beets

April 15 – July 1

12 – 18

2 – 4

½ – 1

1 packet

Broccoli

March 1 – 15

April 15 or June 1

24 – 30

24

¼ (indoors)

1 packet or
9 plants

Brussels sprouts

March 1 – 15

April 15 or June 1

24 – 30

24

¼ (indoors)

1 packet or
9 plants

Cabbage, early

March 1 – 15

April 1 – May 1

24 – 30

18

¼ (indoors)

1 packet or
12 plants

Cabbage, late

April 15 – May 1

June 1

24 – 30

24

¼ (seedbed)

1 packet or
9 plants

Cabbage, Chinese

July 1

24 – 30

18

½

1 packet

Carrots

April 15 – June 15

18 – 24

2 – 3

¼

1 packet

Cauliflower

March 1 – 15

April 15 or June 1

24 – 30

18 – 24

¼ (indoors)

1 packet or
12 plants

Celery

Feb. 15 – March 1

May 15

18 – 24

8

1/8 (indoors)

1 packet or
24 plants

Chard, Swiss

May 1

18 – 24

6 – 8

1

1 packet

Collards

April 15

24 – 36

6

¼

1 packet

Cucumbers

May 1 – June 15

48 – 60

12 between single plants;
36 between hills of three

1

1 packet

Eggplant

March 15 – April 1

June 1

24 – 30

24

¼ (indoors)

1 packet or
9 plants

Endive

April 15

18 – 24

8 – 12

½

1 packet

Garlic

Oct. 1 – Nov. 1

18 – 24

4 – 6

3 – 4

1 lb of cloves

Horseradish

April 15 – May 1

24 – 30

12 – 18

6 (roots)

18 roots

Kale

April 15 – July 15

18 – 24

12 – 18

½

1 packet

Kohlrabi

April 15 – June 1 or
Aug. 1 – 15

18 – 24

6

½

1 packet

Lettuce, leaf

April 15 – June 1 or
Aug. 1 – 15

12 – 18

4 – 6

¼

1 packet

Lettuce, head

   April 1 – 15

April 15 – May 1

18 – 24

12

¼ (indoors)

1 packet or
18 plants

Muskmelon

May 15 – June 1

60 – 72

18

1

1 packet

Okra

March 15 – April 1

June 1

24 – 36

12 – 15

½ (indoors)

1 packet

Onion seeds

April 15

12 – 24

2

½

1 packet

Onion, transplants

Feb. 1 – 15

April 15

12 – 24

2 – 3

½ (indoors)

1 packet

Onion, sets

April 15

12 – 24

2 – 3

1 – 2

½ lb

Parsley

April 15 – May 1

12 – 24

4 – 6

¼

1 packet

Parsnips

May 1 – 15

18 – 24

3 – 4

½

1 packet

Peas

April 10 – May 15

18 – 24

2

1 packet

Pepper

March 15 – April 1

June 1

24 – 36

18 – 24

½ (indoors)

1 packet or
12 plants

Potatoes, Irish

April 15 – June 1

24 – 30

12 – 18

4 (each piece)

3 lb seed potatoes

Potatoes, sweet

April 15 (roots)

June 1

36 – 48

18 – 24

9 – 12 plants

Pumpkin

May 10 – June 1

72 – 96

24 – 36 between single plants;
60 – 72 between hills of three

1 – 2

1 packet

Radish

April 10 – June 1 or
Aug. 1 – 15

6 – 12

1 – 2

½

1 packet

Rhubarb

April 15 – May 1

36 – 48

36 – 48

5 or 6 plants

Rutabaga

May 15 – June 15

18 – 24

8 – 12

½

1 packet

Spinach

April 15 or Aug. 1 – 15

12 – 18

3 – 4

½

1 packet

Squash, summer

May 10 – June 1

24 – 36

24 – 36

1

1 packet

Squash, winter

May 10 – June 1

72 – 96

24 – 36 between single plants;
60 – 72 between hills of three

1

1 packet

Sweet corn

May 10 – July 1

30

12

1 – 2

1 packet

Tomato

April 1 – 15

May 15 – June 1

24 – 36

36 – 48

¼ (indoors)

1 packet or
6 – 8 plants

Turnip

April 15 or Aug. 1

15 – 18

3 – 4

½

1 packet

Watermelon

May 15 – June 1

60 – 72

24 – 36 between single plants;
60 – 72 between hills of three

½

1 packet


17 Comments

Angeline

More gardening sharing! I live in Ocala Fl., and I started my box garden 2 years ago; now on my third attempt. I’ve had fair success with tomatoes (they tend to split, but I get lots) yellow squash, cantaloupe, corn (dismal results), red and white potatoes, sweet potatoes (easy to grow!!), eggplants ( good success), some strawberries, horseradish (I can’t stop this from growing!), a few carrots ( first crop was scary, good for Halloweeen) and bush green beans (love these beans, taste great and produce a lot!!). For anyone who expects to grow stuff for survival food, get started now. It is NOT easy!! I’ve earned a huge amount of respect for the commercial farmers who put the veggies in our grocery stores. For me, here in Ocala, I like the fall crops better less heat, less bugs to battle. The spring crops grow into the summer heat and the summer bugs a constant battle. I’m such a novice. I may simply throw some of these bags on top of my garden boxes. FYI: I need to do my gardening in boxes because my yard is loaded with clay and my drainage is terrible. The boxes help my problem. I’m open to ANY suggestions! I’ve got an acre of land so I’m gonna expand my gardening. I can tell you,,, picking food you grow and feeding it to your family is extremely rewarding! Sure, I’m sweating my ass off, but I think it’s worth it. Especially when things get worse not that I’m expecting things to get worse. Good luck to all gardeners out there. Your neighbors will love you! Val

Mandy Botincan

Thank you for sharing! We are still in storm mode here in Manitoba (April 1st) Snow hasn’t even moved! Mandy

Snehil

Hi there, thank you for detailed and very useful information. I have most of my seeds started, the ones that need to be started indoors. i have a few cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkin seedlings as well. My understanding is that these are warm weather plants with quite long growing season. I was under the impression that these seedlings need to be planted in the garden only after the danger of all frost is gone, typically around June 1st. Your chart indicates that these can go out as early as May 15th. Do you suggest hot cup cover if planting so early? Thank you once again for sharing all gardening advice and tips. Happy gardening.

Snehil

I forgot to mention, I am located in Winnipeg, MB

Mandy Botincan

Every year the weather changes and we always need to modify ourselves to the imposing weather…it will make us or break us…so we must obey.
Rule of thumb:
Let’s throw out the chart…(wink)
For these…ground (earth) temp must be consistently at least 18C. Nights cannot fall below 15C (AND that means at 3-4 am in the morning!). Days…as warm as possible.
Can be started in POTS May 15 (usually 2 weeks back from up-coming warm weather) Always just enough seeds per pot as what one mound generally should have…?4-5 seeds. Just don’t let’em get ROOT bound in the pots…or they will remain stunted dwarfs forever…never amounting to anything! Been there, done that.
Hope this helps…
M

Snehil

Thank you so much Mandy! That makes sense….. and I am glad you cautioned me about root-bounding issue. I will have to keep this in mind, as my pumpkin plants are already a week old and we are still dealing with snow. Thank you once again.

Mandy Botincan

Snehil…right now the only thing you can do is stay ahead of those roots! Keep changing up the pot size to prevent the compaction…and pray you can hold them in control. Stronger light is needed for these members as well. 12 hrs on 12 hrs off on a timer.BTW…they will have a large root system, too.

Snehil

I was again looking at this chart and happened to see these comments. So I thought I would share with you that last year the three pumpkin plants I mentioned in my comment, produced 12 very large (35-70 pounds each) pumpkins and a couple of smaller ones. Your advice was very helpful. I also dug a big hole, filled it up with dried leaves and grass, covered with a layer of soil and then planted a pumpkin plant on that. This apparently kept producing warmth under the plant and also provided nutrients. The yield was ridiculously impressive. Thank you!

Mandy Botincan

Thank you for sharing and I’m glad the advice I gave you, worked out. Mandy

Conrad

Like the comments and and information, 1st year indoor planting, very large crop for a very large garden, i also live in Winnipeg, will keep you all posted on our success.

Mandy Botincan

Looking forward to hear your experiences…for sure.

Chad Walls

Thanks for the post! I live in Langruth, Manitoba. This is my third year planting a garden and haven\’t been that successful so far. I always tried to rush and get everything planted before May long weekend. However, after looking at the planting dates you have listed I can relax a bit and take my time and stagger the planting. I haven\’t had any luck with pumpkins so I started them indoors about 3-4 weeks early. I also like to plant all underground plants early such as potatoes, radish, carrots, parsnips, onions, and garlic as I assume frost can\’t kill them.

Mandy Botincan

Hi Chad…good for you! This year (for me) has been quite challenging. My garden soil (river bottom clay) is unusually cold and wet…that part that I have not heavily amended.The raised boxes are doing great though and would like to maybe change everything over to that system. You are welcome to come down and see my setup. Just let me know when you are coming. Please don’t start the cuks, pumpkins etc. in pots too early. Once they become root bound, they will stay stunted! Radishes, onions are perfect. Garlic best in October. Don’t put potatoes in cold soil…Good luck…Happy gardening.
Mandy

Rolland Coderre

Hi. I just inherited a garden late. June 20th in Winnipeg. I\\’m about to rototill it and would like to know what you think can still be grown starting about now. Thank you.

Mandy Botincan

Hi Rolland,
There is lots you can still grow! Get larger tomato pepper broccoli etc plants!
Sow lettuce now…radishes late in August. Some green or yellow beans even peas are still ok to sow.
Just maybe not potatoes or sweet potatoes…or pumpkins or squash. These need longer growing season.
Cucumbers, melons, watermelons if root bound in their pots…not good. Don’t buy or use. You could try sowing some that have early dates…
Call me if you like…
M

Denise

Hi MandyIs the first week in May to late to start brussel sprouts?

Mandy Botincan

Hi Denise, I dont know where u are located. For Manitoba its is too late. Mandy


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