Spring! Time to Start the Garden!

IMG_5990adjHere in northern California it’s time get started on your spring garden.

Today, February 25th, is 7 weeks before our average last frost date of

April 15th. So what can you do now to plant and prepare?

 


 

  1. Clean up weeds and dead leaves left from winter.
  2. Top off vegetable beds or raised beds with compost.
  3. Plant peas, (like the little gardener above) spinach, beets, green onion, leaf lettuce and carrots outside.

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4. Remember even though garden centers may have tomatoes for sale it’s way too early to plant them.  I planted one in my  greenhouse, along with some basil, as an experiment last week but until the temperature is consistently warmer they will sit in the cold soil and probably die without a greenhouse.

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5. You also need to wait to plant “warm weather” veggies like zucchini and beans and melons until later (April 15th is our “safe” date)

6. Resist the urge to fertilize anything yet…the soil is too cold and it won’t do any good.

7. If you haven’t cut back old hydrangea blooms (gasp-that was a job for last fall) be sure to do it now but don’t cut back past one or sets of leaves or you’ll have no blooms at all this year on most varieties.

8. If you only need one or two tomatoes its really easier to buy seedlings in 4″ pots than to raise them yourself. (Unless, like me, the variety you want is only available from seed, i.e. Husky Red)

9. If you are starting seeds, one easy way is to use Peat Pellets.  They can be purchased from places like Walmart inexpensively and come with a “greenhouse” top. Just add warm water and your seeds.

IMG_5960A few “tools” will make planting easier. A dowel marked in 1/4″ increments ensures planting at the correct depth, tweezers are helpful for planting only one or two seeds at a time and labels are a great idea marked with variety and date planted. Magic erasers are great for cleaning last labels from last year! Now is the time to begin for this year’s garden!

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