Next few nights are going to be chilly. In order to protect your plants you can do the following:
Your planted containers: just cover the plants with a sheet if you have no way to get them inside. Be sure to cover in the evening before the temperatures dip too low.
Plants in the garden: cover them also with a sheet. Again do it early enough in the evening before the temps dip too low
Hanging baskets that are outside ? Best to bring them inside.
Be sure to take the covers off during the day so the plants can take advantage of the sunshine but cover again for the next chilly night.
Continue this covering and uncovering routine UNTIL night temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have cool-tolerant annuals like violas and pansies, these plants will do fine in the cool temps. No need to cover them.
1 – if your lawn has greened up, it is time to rake it. Be careful when you rake so as only rake debris out and not a lot of grass.
2 – if you are giving gardening a try this year, you can plant onion plants and potatoes now IF your soil is dry and not wet. When planting onions just barely cover the onion bulb with soil. Do not rake soil back up over the onion since onions grow with the bulb part above the ground. The 'bulb' part, the part you eat, is actually a stem. Cut potatoes into quarters making sure there is at least one 'eye' per piece. Let the pieces partially dry on your counter for a couple of days unless a thin 'callus' occurs on the cut portion of the potato. It will no longer be wet but appear dry. Plant 6 inches deep with the 'eye' facing up
3 – when planting your containerized trees this year, be sure to add amendments to the soil. We suggested composted manure and sphagnum peat that is mixed with the excavated soil and used as the backfill. When you purchase your trees the sales person will be able tell you other specifics of planting the tree like how much to water, how deep to plant, seasonal care and preparations for winter
Maybe this is the year to try growing some of your own vegies? It is a healthy activity, nutritious, economical and fun. Below are some ideas:
1 – An area that you may plant will need to have the grass, weeds and debris completely gone. Be sure the soil is dry. Wet sticky soil will make it hard to work with.
2 – Add organic matter by spading in the material to a depth of about 6 to 8 inches. Smooth out the area after spading. You need a level soil bed to plant a garden.
3 – Many vegetables can be purchased at the garden center, already growing in a container and ready to go. Examples of these would be tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and eggplant. Be sure to check with the staff on timing of when to plant since some plants need to go in the ground sooner than others. Others need to go in the ground once the soil has warmed. Example: tomatoes will be later in May where cauliflower will probably be late April. Again ask for specifics and it all depends on our weather.
4 – With the weather we are having, maybe SNOWPEAS would be a good choice this year. LOL, LOL, LOL !
5 – Many vegetables can be started by planting seeds directly in the garden. Examples would be cucumbers, squash, sweet corn, string beans, peas, carrots, radishes and leaf lettuce. Again depending on the type of seed, they are planted at different times. Example would be carrots are planted earlier than sweet corn.
For more specific information on spacing, plant timing and culture you can ask at the garden center.
Happy planting and a bountiful harvest!
We should wait to rake our yards until they ‘green up’. Raking now will uproot many grass plants.
Interested in protecting pollinator homes? . . . . here are a few ideas
1 – are there any areas in your yard were you can leave alone? Avoid raking, blowing, pruning, bagging and hauling away the debris in this area. Leaving this biomass alone will help diminish important certain important insect ‘hangouts’
2 – do not cut down stems TOO early in the spring. Many helpful insects like lacewings, small native bees and syrphid flies overwinter in these stems. When you do cut down the stems, leave about 1 foot of stem to stay in place as potential ‘homes’ for overwintering insects the following winter
3 – many beneficial insects overwinter in leaf litter, such as some butterflies as well as eggs and larvae. Wait to remove leaf litter until temperatures warm to be steadily above 50 degrees F. leave a thin layer of leaf litter as a way to retain moisture and adding organic material to the soil
4 – try to maintain SOME open soil where soil burrowing insects make their ‘home’
5 – check woody materials before pruning. There are several moths and butterflies that overwinter as chrysalis and cocoons on these branches.
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