It's time to really get moving! The garden is truly coming to life now and the chore lists are getting longer and more urgent. Spring is here ... let's get to work! :D
• Vegetable Seeds - Continue to plant hardy crops recommended for January and February.
• Vegetable Plants - Plant cabbage, onions, lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts in North Alabama.
• Thin plants when they are 2 to 3 inches tall to give the plants room to grow.
• Carry out any February jobs not completed.
• Treat seed before planting or buy treated seed for protection against seed-borne diseases, seed decay, seedling "damping off" and soil insects such as seed-corn maggots
• Early-planted crops may need a nitrogen side-dressing, particularly if the soil is cool. Place the fertilizer several inches to the side of the plants and water it in. A little fertilizer throughout the growing period is better than too much at one time.
• Before settling them in the garden, harden-off transplants - place them in their containers outdoors in a sheltered place a few days ahead of planting them
• Get rows ready for "warm-season" vegetables to be planted during the last week of March or first week or two of April as weather permits.
• You might want to risk planting out a few of the more tender crops and keeping them covered during bad weather.
• Watch out for insects, especially cutworms, plant lice (aphids) and red spider mites.
• Put down mulch between rows to control weeds.
• Move inside herbs out into the garden after danger of frost has passed. Make the transition gradually, allowing the plants time to harden off.
• Plant your choices of the following "warm-season" or "frost-tender" crops: beans (snap, pole and lima), cantaloupe, corn (sweet), cucumbers, eggplant, okra, field peas, peppers, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, parsley, and watermelon.
• Plant tall-growing crops such as okra, pole beans and corn on the north side of other vegetables to avoid shading. Plant two or more rows of corn for better pollination.
• After danger of frost is past (sometime by the end of this month), plant tender vegetables.
• Make a second planting within two to three weeks of the first planting of snap beans, corn and squash.
• Within three to four weeks of the first planting, plant more lima beans and corn. Remember: for better pollination, plant at least two or more rows.
• Be sure to plant enough vegetables for canning and freezing.
• Cultivate to control weeds and grass, to break crusty soil and to provide aeration.
• Maintain mulch between rows.
• Side dress earlier planted crops.
• Plant tender herbs.
• Remember: Do not work in your garden when the foliage is wet to avoid spreading diseases from one plant to another.