It’s our favorite time of the year when most of the garden chores on the list start with “plant.”
- While the soil is not yet warm enough to start planting our summer vegetables outdoors, we can plant root crop vegetables, including carrots, beets, turnips, radishes and potatoes.
- Now also is a good time to plant peas.
- In preparation for later spring planting, start your warm season crops indoors in seed trays. Any plants that will need at least four weeks of growth before setting out can be started now. That would include cucumbers and squash.
- Set out cool season crops and cool season flowers — pansy, nemesia, primrose. You can likely get another harvest of the cool season plants before it gets too warm for them.
- Now that the rains appear to have stopped, or at least slowed in frequency, time to start preparing beds for the busy summer season. Cut your cover crops and chop them into small pieces, leaving the plants to decompose in place or adding them to your compost pile.
- Researchers now recommend doing as little digging in your beds as possible, so just turn the top few inches of the bed with a garden fork and work in compost and fertilizer. If you’re using hot manures — fresh chicken manure, for example — you want to do this sooner rather than later to allow the fertilizer to age, which will prevent it from burning tender seedlings.
- Do a test run on your irrigation systems and complete needed repairs.
- Spray apples, pears, loquats with Bordeaux mixture during blossom time to control fire blight.
- Spray stone fruit — apricots, peaches, plums, cherries — for brown rot during bloom time.
— Contra Costa Master Gardeners contributed to this report.
Reading this on your phone? Stay up to date on Bay Area and Silicon Valley news with our new, free mobile app. Get it from the Apple app store or the Google Play store.
Published at Thu, 16 Mar 2017 21:00:11 +0000