seed selection for minnesota

Asked March 17, 2020, 8:33 AM EDT

I have two 4 x 8 ft x 30 inch high raised garden beds that I have done as hoop type set ups. I have the cover on the one now and will get the other one up soon so the soil warms up some. I am wondering how soon that I can plant cold weather crops. , Also , I am wondering if there is a list of recommended seed varieties for Minnesota and raised beds like I have. Right now i am thinking about lettuces, spinach, beets, carrots , peas-edible pods etc. I built these garden beds last year and this will be my first year to use them. Just trying to figure out how best to use them. Also trying to learn how to do raised garden bed planting to maximum the space.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for writing.
You will have an interesting year. Your beds are large but it is easy to overcrowd them. I find that it is important to vertically garden plants where possible. For example, beans, peas, tomatoes, green peppers etc should be strongly supported. You might consider a bean or pea wall on the north side of the beds (so that it can catch the light from the south without shading other lower plants.
It is a bit early to consider starting something under plastic. Hold off until at least mid April or start now inside and then harden plants outside before putting in the ground. There is a good chart on planting times here.

You do not mention how you prepared the soil. Lots of organic material is needed. Also water drainage means that they need more water. High productivity calls for a general purpose fertilizer regularly. Be sure to maximize production by planting plants repeatedly--roughly half the maturity time intervals but you will have to eyeball this.

Finally, as to seeds (your real question), I have not seen any special seed requirements for raised beds. Crop rotation within beds is important to reduce disease.