Now is the time to start planting


Thank goodness it’s finally time to start planting!

You can start your vegetable garden now with cool-loving crops such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, lettuce, spinach, potatoes, and others can be safely planted now.

Hold off on planting tomatoes, peppers, squash and other warm-loving garden plants until the soil warms up in May.

I recommend that you develop a garden plan on paper before you start planting. You think that you have plenty of room but it seems that we always end up buying more seeds and plants than we have space.

If you are planting perennial plants such as rhubarb and asparagus, keep in mind that it will take at least three years before you get a good harvest. Let the roots of these plants develop and establish before harvesting a complete crop.

For instance, don’t pick any asparagus the first year it’s planted. The second year, pick about half or so of the crop, and the third year you will have a good crop that is established.

When purchasing asparagus, select two-year old roots in order to get a crop a little sooner. You can plant from seed but it takes even longer to harvest.

If you have purchased any bare-root plants such as roses, shrubs, or other perennials (except for summer-blooming bulbs) you should get them in the ground as soon as possible.

The plant roots are packed and protected from drying out but as we get warmer weather, it’s harder to keep these roots in good shape.

If you have summer-blooming bulbs such as dahlias, glads, and begonias, don’t plant them until the soil is warmer in mid- to late May. Plant them now and there is a really good chance they will rot.

If you want these plants bloom earlier in the season, start them indoors in pots now and transplant outside in May. Be sure to give them plenty of light if they are indoors. Low light will cause them to stretch and become leggy.

Annuals such as pansies and snapdragons can be planted now as they love this cooler weather. And of course, trees and shrubs can go into the ground any time now.

A rule for planting anything – make sure the soil is dried enough before planting. Working in wet soil simply compacts the soil and makes it challenging for roots to grow.

One final note, last week I mentioned boxwood leafminers and had a lot of readers submit pictures and questions. Don’t confuse this pest with winter damage. If you aren’t sure, search online for photos to help you confirm the type of injury.

Or you can send me a photo but be sure to send good clear pictures (not blurry!) that show the entire plant as well as leaf damage. It’s difficult to diagnose the problem with one leaf sample.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Cleaning house pays off: Louisiana couple finds lottery ticket worth $1.8M
Cleaning house pays off: Louisiana couple finds lottery ticket worth $1.8M

It pays to clean house. A Louisiana couple straightening up their home in anticipation of Thanksgiving found some lottery tickets, and one of them was for a $1.8 million jackpot from the June 6 drawing, WDSU reported. >> Read more trending news  Harold and Tina Ehrenberg, of Mandeville, claimed the winning prize two weeks before...
Grandfather, 87, robbed, beaten outside senior living apartment
Grandfather, 87, robbed, beaten outside senior living apartment

An 87-year-old Ohio grandfather was robbed and beaten outside his senior living apartment in Cleveland as he returned home from getting coffee, WEWS reported. >> Read more trending news  Margaro Senquiz was returning from a McDonald’s around 10 a.m. Monday when he was attacked from behind as he unlocked his apartment, the television...
2 people involved in crash that killed Middletown woman facing drug charges
2 people involved in crash that killed Middletown woman facing drug charges

Two people involved in a September crash that killed a Middletown woman have been indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury on drug charges. David Flinchum, 27, of Miamisburg, was indicted on charges of tampering with evidence, aggravated possession of drugs (oxycodone), aggravated possession of drugs (methamphetamines), and possession of drugs (alprazolam)...
$35M cleanup approved for Dayton landfill
$35M cleanup approved for Dayton landfill

A $35-million cleanup agreement has been reached for the Valleycrest Landfill in Old North Dayton. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice finalized a consent decree with the responsible parties on the 104-acre Superfund site that’s in a mixed residential and industrial area. The companies include General...
Growing Hamilton Thanksgiving 5K helps teen moms and their kids
Growing Hamilton Thanksgiving 5K helps teen moms and their kids

When Katie Farr Powers lived in Cincinnati, she enjoyed running in Thanksgiving Day events there. But there were no running events in Hamilton, so she started her own, and combined it with another passion — helping teen mothers and their children thrive despite the obstacles they face. MORE: Nuisance hotel in Hamilton to be demolished for manufacturer&rsquo...
More Stories