Here are some tips of how to get your garden ready in March and April:
• Plant quickly maturing crops such as turnips, mustard, radishes and “spring onions” again;
• You will want to give the plants room to grow so think plants when they are about 2- to 3-inches tall;
• Complete all the garden jobs from February;
• To protect against seed-borne diseases, seed decay, seedling “damping off” and soil insects such as seed-corn maggots, treat seed before planting or buy treated seeds for protection;
• If the soil is cool, early planted crops may need a nitrogen side-dressing. Put the fertilizer several inches to the side of the plants then water it in. A little fertilizer along the way is better than too much at one time;
• Harden off transplants by placing them in their containers outdoors in a sheltered place a few days ahead of planting;
• Start preparing your rows for the “warm season” vegetables that will be planted during the last week of March or first week or two of April;
• Watch for insects, especially cutworms, aphids and red spider mites,
• Put mulch down between rows for weed control.
• Plant warm season or frost tender crops such as beans (snap, pole and lima), cantaloupe, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, field peas, peppers, squash, tomatoes and watermelon;
• For better pollination you can plant two or more rows of corn. To avoid shading of tall growing crops, plant okra, pole bean and corn on the north side of other vegetables;
• In two to three weeks of the first planting of snap bean, corn and squash, make a second planting;
• Plant more lima beans and corn within three to four weeks of first planting;
• Make sure to plant enough vegetables for canning and freezing;
• Cultivate to control weeds and grass, and to provide aeration;
• Make sure you maintain mulch between the rows for weed control;
• The crops you plant earlier will need to be “side-dressed” as described earlier;
• Plant tender herbs;
• Do not work in the garden when the foliage is wet to avoid spreading diseases from one plant to the next.
Remember to always make gardening fun. Enjoy the sunshine, listen to the birds sing. Spring is right around the corner.
As always, the Forsyth County Extension Office is here to help. You can visit our website www.ugaextension.org/forsyth or call (770) 887-2418. The office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. We also can be reached via email at email@example.com. Our office is scheduled to be moving so if you will be stopping by, call first and make sure we haven’t moved.
Beverly Adams is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Assistant for the UGA Extension Forsyth County.