Wednesday, March 16, 2016
It's Time to Plant Cool Season Crops
With the weather starting to clear it's time to think cool season plants for the vegetable garden. If you are growing in raised beds at the community garden, it's time to plant radishes, peas, kale, spinach, lettuce and onion sets.
Check out the garden centers now for the best selection in seed potatoes. Remember to rotate your crops so you don't plant the same crop in the same spot this year. By rotating your crops you will minimize problems with pests and disease.
If you haven't topped off your gardens with compost, manure or new soil, do this before you plant. With the rainfall we receive over the winter, nutrients are leached out of the soil. Its time to feed the soil so it can feed your plants.
Direct sow peas in the garden as they don't like to be transplanted. Be sure to add a support system using poles and netting for the tendrils to cling to. If you like to save your own seed, look for open pollinated types of peas such as Lincoln Homesteader. Open pollinated seeds come true each year unlike their hybrid cousins.
Be sure to keep your seeds watered until they germinate. If seeds dry out they will die. Once they are up and growing you won't need to water as often. Its usually in late April that we start to get a dry spell. Do a finger test to see if the soil is damp a few inches below the surface. If it's damp don't water your seedlings. You want to encourage the plants roots to go down deep to look for moisture. Frequent watering has plant roots in the top part of the soil and that means extra watering. Let's not be slaves to our gardens this summer. Water well once each week and apply a mulch of straw, hay or leaves to keep moisture from evaporating.