Spring Planting Dates

The following article is taken from theeagle.com, a publication from Bryan-College Station, Texas. They are in roughly the same zone as those of us here along the eastern portion of the Gulf Coast, so it’s always a good idea to see what are neighbors to the west are doing.

Soil temperatures are now about 50 degrees, and that is suitable for all of the following cool-season crops. Cool-season vegetable crops may be planted until the following dates:

* Asparagus — March 15

* Beets — March 5

* Broccoli — March 5

* Brussels sprouts — too late

* Cabbage — March 5

* Carrots — March 5

* Cauliflower — March 29

* Chard, Swiss — April 20

* Collard — March 31

* Garlic — March 15

* Kale — March 10

* Kohlrabi — March 10

* Lettuce — March 20

* Mustard — April 15

* Onions, bulb –too late

* Peas, edible pod — March 5

* Peas, English — Feb. 20

* Potatoes, Irish — March 5

* Radishes — May 5

* Spinach –Feb. 20

* Turnips — April 20

Valentine’s Day is the traditional time to set Irish potatoes in the garden. They could be set on the ground or only 2 inches deep, 1 foot apart and rows 1 foot apart in a raised bed. When planting is shallow and the plants are 8 inches tall, apply “hilling” by covering the bottom half of the plants with soil or organic matter several times as it grows. New potatoes will develop within the hill. Compost is easier to keep moist than soil. Harvesting is easy by digging the potatoes out of the hill. A 1-pound potato is the largest one that I have grown in my garden.

Warm-season vegetables

Now is an excellent time to apply several inches of organic matter (decayed leaves, grass clippings or other plant materials) over the entire area for all warm-season crops. The soil should be friable (crumbly, with space for air and water) for easy root development. Hot-soil temperatures break down some organic matter every summer.

If you are not sure about the fertility of your garden soil, you should have a sample tested (www.soiltesting.tamu.edu) before starting the crops. Garden soils may not need any more phosphorus, and do not apply too much nitrogen for beans, cucumbers, melons, okra, peppers, squash, tomatoes, etc. Too much nitrogen will force excessive plant growth with late and less fruit production than normal.

Suggestion

To learn more about vegetables, try a new variety each season.

* Write to Elmer Krehbiel, Master Gardener, c/o Brazos County Office, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 2619 Texas 21 W., Bryan, Texas 77803. His e-mail address is elmer.krehbiel@theeagle.com.

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