Sunday, March 29, 2015
April showers bring May flowers, fruits, herbs and vegetables. Now is the perfect time to get serious on getting your spring garden planted!
Crops to plant in April
Early April is a perfect time to plant cold season crops like Brussels sprouts, fava beans, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, collards, kale, lettuce, mustard, onions, parsley, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, shallots, spinach, strawberries, Swiss chard and turnips.
We still get frosts in April so you want to hold off on planting warm season crops outdoors like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and squash until May.
When you plant, make sure to fertilize and add mycorrhizae in each planting hole. If you didn't do a soil test (you can use a kit from a garden store or big box store), use a balanced organic fertilizer like Espoma at the rate recommended. Mycorrhizae are beneficial microbes that help your plant roots absorb nutrients from the soil. You can make your own all natural, organic fertilizer, too. Here is the link: Make your own fertilizer, it's all natural and inexpensive
If you are re-using pots from last year, here is a link to get your potting soil ready to nourish your new plants: Re-energize your potting soil!
Frost date importance
The last frost date in our area is around April 20. This is important to know if you are planting seeds. The packet tells you when to plant in relation to your last frost date. You will get the best results following the packet instructions. Planting early is not always a good strategy as different seeds need different soil temperatures before they will germinate. Plant too early and they can rot before they have a chance to sprout.
Pots will warm up quicker, but will also chill down faster. You can put them in a sheltered spot to get a jump on spring. I love planting greens in large self watering pots that I keep on the patio, making it handy for picking a fresh salad for dinner.
When growing veggies in containers, they will require more watering and more liquid fertilizer than if they were in the ground. In the summer, you may have to water some water lovers every day.