Q. You mentioned growing winter vegetables such as spinach, cauliflower and others. Are these vegetable plants available locally?
A. We are seeing more and more of these plants available as transplants locally as the trend in vegetable gardening has grown but it is still hit and miss to find them.
Most of these plants can be planted directly in the garden from seed easily. Certainly the leafy green vegetables should be started from seed and not purchased as transplants. These include spinach, lettuces, mustards, kale and the like.
There are only a few winter vegetables that should only be started from transplants and include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. Almost all of the other winter vegetables can be started from seed directly in the garden if soil temperatures are warm enough.
If soil temperatures are not, cover the area with plastic where seed was placed and cover the edges with soil so wind does not pick it up. I have some information I produced on soil temperatures required for different seed germination.
The advantage of starting vegetables from seed is freedom from some of the pests and diseases found in greenhouses as well as any pesticides that might be used on them. Sometimes you may have to start these vegetables from seed when transplants are not available locally.
If you want some videos on any of this let me know. I'll be happy to make them and post them on YouTube with a link back to my blog.
I have included a copy of a vegetable and herb planting calendar for the winter that I did for a local compost company, Viragrow.