By Barbara Adams, For the Forsyth County News
Did you know that you can plant or harvest something from your garden almost all year long? There are two major planting times, spring (March to May) and fall (mid-July to September).
The plants you plant in spring will most likely be harvested in June and July and the fall plantings will be harvested from October to December.
January and February are great times to start selecting what seeds you want to plant, prepare your garden sites, and get ready for a great season not to mention dream of the warm spring days you will be spending outside.
Here are some tips of how to get ready for your garden in January and February:
• Make a garden plan;
• Consider planting a few new varieties along with your favorites that you plant each year;
• Plant enough of each vegetable including enough to can and freeze;
• Lengthen the season of production by purchasing enough quality seed for two or three plantings;
• Have a soil test done on your garden spot, ($10 cash or check charge);
• If you didn’t do so in the fall add manure or compost and plow it under;
• Apply your lime, sulfur or fertilizer according to the soil test results and vegetable requirements;
• Get your plant beds or seed boxes ready for growing plants like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.
The beds should be ready for planting in early February;
• Make sure your compost pile is ready for you to use in the spring;
• Come by the Extension Office and get copies of Georgia gardening publications.
• Plant your seed boxes. Peppers and eggplants will take eight weeks to grow from seed to transplant size and tomatoes will take six weeks. Once the seedlings have formed their third set of true leaves, then they are ready to be transplanted into individual containers;
• Prepare your land for planting, for better drainage and earlier soil warm-up winter and early spring plantings belong on a ridge (raised bed);
• If you had a problem with nematodes last year, plant another crop less susceptible to nematodes in the infected area;
• Choose early planting from the following: carrots, collards, lettuce, mustard, English peas, Irish potatoes, radishes, spinach and turnips;
• Around transplanted crops such as cabbage use a “starter” fertilizer solution;
• Add some more mulch on strawberries;
• For your April planting seed herbs. Make a list of the ones that are better to buy instead of seed, like French tarragon and rosemary.
Get your kids involved, make it a family project, or a community project for yourself and your neighbors. No matter what you plan to plant or where you plant it the most important thing is have fun doing it, don’t look at it as a job but an opportunity to enrich the minds of others.
For more information on how to perform a soil test please visit bit.ly/3afke1V. For the complete vegetable garden calendar please visit bit.ly/30poQOG.
As always, the Forsyth County Extension Office is here to help. You can visit our website www.ugaextension.org/forsyth or you can give us a call 770-887-2418.
Our office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. We also can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Beverly Adams is the Agriculture and Natural Resources program assistant for the UGA Extension Forsyth County.