The Avid Spring Gardener
Monday, June 9, 2014
If you are enthusiastic about gardening, or if you have recently bought you first home with a garden and you want to learn, there are certain things that you should do during the spring season:
- For those who want a vegetable garden, spring is the serious planting season. This is when you should plant asparagus, most types of beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplants, kale, lettuce, mustard, onion, and peas, most varieties of peppers, pumpkins, radishes, spinach, squash, tomatoes and turnips. If you prefer to transplant rather than to plant the seeds, wait until mid to late summer to do most of these.
- If you wanted spring flowers in your garden, you should have planted them in late fall. If you plant the bulbs now they will give you a beautiful colourful summer garden, but plant them before the temperature rises above 10-15 degrees. Make sure the bulbs have been pre-cooled; otherwise keep them in the fridge for a few weeks. Plant them with the pointed end up, and since the depths differ according to the bulb size, consult your nursery staff or the packaging in which you bought them. Plant about four to five bulbs per square foot, with the larger ones behind the smaller ones in the flowerbed.
- Those who planted their bulbs a few weeks before winter have the best choice of indoor plants to add some spring colour to their homes. Cut some flowers and green leaves from hedges and mix them in vases and flowerpots. Alternatively, buy indoor spring bloomers like the African Violet, the Flowering Maple or the Calamondin Orange.
- For those who no longer want to buy their herbs, spring is the right time to sow seeds for basil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, mint, parsley, sage and thyme. If you buy the plants from a nursery, wait until late spring or very early summer to plant them. Tarragon seeds are not available, but you can buy the plants from a nursery and plant them in late spring . If you plant seeds, the best approach is to plant them in containers and plant them out into the garden at the beginning of summer. Soak them overnight before planting and place them only slightly below the soil. Place the pots in the sun and keep them covered to keep them warm.
Record your successes and failures in a gardening journal so your skills can improve.