The Early Gardener

It’s never too early to plant seeds, Ronda Anderson and Meredith Kope of Wicked Oak Farms & Vineyards and Goodstone Inn respectively give advice on indoor growing.

Photo courtesy of Mihai Petre/

Gray January may not feel green, but gardening can begin with seeds indoors. Wicked Oak Farms & Vineyard’s Ronda Anderson grows Swiss chard, snow peas and kale indoors in small, individual pods. Bulbous or root vegetables like onions and carrots need larger pots covered in plastic wrap to hold moisture.

“We usually start them in a window that gets good morning sun and then put the [plastic] cap over top of it.” Caps hold moisture and heat, creating mini greenhouses. Check frost dates and plant information to know transfer times.

“January is also a good time,” says Meredith Kope, Goodstone Inn’s gardener, “to do your seed order, to start planning your garden, laying out where you’re going to put everything.” For vegetables suited for Virginia, she suggests Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in Mineral, Va.-Eliana Reyes

(January 2014)