Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Is It Time To Get Ready?

Is It Time To Get Ready? 

For me this is the worst part of the year. The winter has dragged on a little too long and the weather teases me wedging a few sunny and beautiful days between the gray and drab ones. Today I found crocus in my flower beds woop! Crocus are the first spring flowers and soon my tulips will be up.This means Spring is on it's way! So is it time to start your seedlings? I have been told no, I am super anxious to get out and get dirty this spring I want to get my garden going again. It's been a long time during my illness to really want to get out there and get it done.
 The first thing I want to plant and get ready for are potatoes I can start to plant the seedlings as early as 2 weeks before my last freeze dates (potatoes like the cold weather). Okay I know your saying uhmmm what? I did too but there are lots of sites that can help you figure this out You can check it here by zip code or here by state.My last anticipated freeze is late April or early May so I have a while.
But I can get my seedlings now(better early) or you risk a chance of not much of a choice. All you want to do is store them in a cool place or in your fridge until it is time to plant them. So I want to go out mid April and till up the spot I want to plant them and get the fertilizers in the ground.
 When you buy your seedlings it is okay actually preferable to have the little growths out of them. Because when you go to plant them you cut them up so that each little piece has one of those sprouts. They will become your plant. I like to hill my potatoes because they grow in clusters and if you plant them flat in the ground you are going to have to work to dig them up. But when you hill them they grow and stay in the mound which makes harvesting them super easy.

If you have the seed potatoes in the fridge bring them out about a week before you are going to plant them.Put them in a sunny spot so they won't be dormant when you plant them. If you live where it gets really hot like here you want to plant them as early as possible because the higher temperatures will kill your plants. I have been successful in planting them in areas that are in constant shade and they have done quite well.

There are other methods like shallow planting where you just lay them on top of the dirt or tossing the seedlings in sod and mulch but I have never planted that way and don't know much about it.I would think both ways are invitations for the local wild life (rabbits, squirrels, possums and skunks) to set up house and I don't want that.

The other two early crops I will put in at the same time are peas and onions. Onions and potatoes are easy to grow you stick them in the ground add water and they grow. you buy seedling onions like you do the potatoes and I plant them in a row. I also have green onions in my yard that come back every year. When the kids were little I had an edible yard there wasn't a flower or plant that they could not eat so it was pretty fun for them.

Peas have always been a challenge to me, some years I get plenty while others not so many. This year I am going to start much earlier and see if I can't do better. I think the rabbits help harvest them though.

Do you grow a garden? I got those topsy turveys this year for my tomatoes bell peppers and egg plants I was thinking squash would do well in them also??? I think the challenge is going to be making sure they stay moist.

We will have to talk more on this!