Spring sure is here! We are all ready to get into the garden and start “working the soil” and planting. This is all good but remember, there is a time for everything and getting an early jump on the season must be tempered with some good judgement. REMEMBER….. we can start too early and pay the penalty for a major portion of this gardening season when we get going too soon. The recent warm temperatures can get us excited but it is necessary to do things in the right sequence. Wet soils can be a spoiler.

There normally is a “break” when it stays mild without a lot of rain which allows soils to dry out. This early break normally occurs in mid to late March and if we are ready we can take advantage of this and get the soil worked so we can get some of the early plantings done from seed; things like lettuce, carrots, radishes and beets. Then we can plant the Cole crops like cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, rhubarb and asparagus from young transplants or bareroot plants. Pansies and perennials cane be planted now. Just keep in mind that this early break only lasts a day or so and we MUST be ready or we’ll have to wait for another week or two to get back in the soil.

What happens when we work the soil when it is too wet here in the Miami Valley or anywhere there are clay soils? (This is especially true if we haven’t been adding good amounts of compost and other organic matter to the soil on a regular basis.) Do you remember those chunks of hardened soil that resulted when we tried to roto-till the soil when it was a little wet? Those “clods” that result from “working” the soil when it is wet will be with us most of the summer if not all the way until next spring, yes I mean until spring 2017! So either be ready when the soil and temps are right or be ready to wait a while until the conditions are good. If we don’t pay attention to, what seem to be small details, we pay the penalty as we move forward in the season. Just remember, there is a “season” for everything and when we understand these seemingly small details we will begin to enjoy gardening because of our success and it will not be as hard as some people experience. This wet soil thing is largely avoided when we have “raised beds”, a very popular method of gardening today.

One of the things many of us like to have is the first tomato of the season, and that includes me. But remember, if the soil is still cold many of the warm weather crops just don’t take off growing and they can even be set back and have nutritional problems that can cause misshaped fruit. Peppers and tomatoes can be affected and actually be delayed in their development due to this one thing. So don’t rush the season but rather be “READY” when the time is right.

If we can help you with your gardening questions let us know and we’ll share our experience with you.

Growing with you for 32 years,

Meadow View Growers

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