Spring Planting Tips

March 09, 1991|By Mike Klingaman


When: April 1-June 15.

How: Sow 1/2 to 1 inch deep, 1 or 2 inches apart.

Tips: Till soil deeply. Remove all rocks and stones before planting. Water daily until seedlings appear. Beets tolerate light shade. Thin seedlings to 3 inches apart. Harvest when 2 inches

in diameter.


When: April 1-May 1.

How: Space transplants 18 inches apart.

Tips: Likes neutral soil. Add crushed limestone, if needed. Plant broccoli 1 inch deeper than it was in the nursery pot. Protect seedlings from frost. Harvest side shoots after picking main head. Homemade cardboard collars placed around plants deter cutworms. Wood ashes repel flea beetles. Bacillus Thuringiensis an organic insecticide, stops cabbage loopers.

Bush Beans

When to plant: May 5-June 30.

How to plant: Sow 1 to 2 inches deep, 4 inches apart.

Tips: Make successive sowings two weeks apart, after all danger of frost. Avoid handling wet plants. Destroy Mexican bean beetles, which resemble brown ladybugs, and their yellow egg clusters beneath leaves. Don't plant beans near onions.


When: March 15-April 10.

How: Space transplants 1 foot apart.

Tips: Likes rich soil. Water regularly, but over-watering produces cracked heads. Savoy, with crinkled leaves, is a popular variety. Use BT against cabbage worms. Grow near potatoes, but not tomatoes.


When: May 15-June 15.

How: Sow 1 inch deep, 1 foot apart.

Tips: Heavy feeder. Water deeply during growing season. Harvest when stem slips easily off vine, and blossom end smells sweet. Likes corn and peas, but not potatoes.


When: April 10-June 1.

How: Sow 1/2 inch deep, 1/2 inch apart.

Tips: Germinate poorly in hot weather. Keep seedbed moist. Till soil deeply, until fluffy. Grow short varieties in heavy soils. Thin seedlings to 2 inches apart. Don't plant near dill.


When: April 1-May 1.

How: Space transplants 18 inches apart.

Tips: Can be hard to grow. A heavy feeder. Water regularly. Watch for cutworms and cabbage loopers, which can damage seedlings. When head appears, blanch it by tying the plant's outer leaves atop the head with string or rubber bands.


When: April 15-May 1.

How: Space transplants 8 inches apart.

Tips: Likes very rich soil and steady supply of moisture, especially during drought. Fertilize regularly. Have patience: Celery requires 6 months from seed to harvest. Pick outside stalks or entire plant.


When: April 1-June 1.

How: Sow 1 to 2 inches deep, 8 inches apart.

Tips: Plant only one variety to avoid pollination problems. Grow in square blocks (2-foot minimum), grouped closely together. Water regularly and fertilize with liquid fish emulsion when plants are 8 inches tall. Harvest when silk darkens and shrivels. Corn likes beans, cucumbers and peas. Raccoons like corn.


When: May 15-July 1.

How: Sow 1 inch deep, 1 foot apart.

Tips: Heavy feeder, likes rotted manure. Cover with polyester row cover to foil cucumber beetle. Remove cover at start of flowering. Keep fruit picked so vines continue to bear. Avoid planting near herb bed.


When: May 20-June 15.

How: Space transplants 2 feet apart.

Tips: Cover tender seedlings on 40-degree nights, or wait until all danger of frost is past. Heavy feeder, finicky plant. Dust with wood ashes to repel flea beetles. Weed by hand; cultivating damages shallow roots. Grow near peppers, potatoes, tomatoes.


When: April 1-April 20.

How: Sow 1/2 inch deep, 8 inches apart.

Tips: Dislikes hot weather. Scotch variety more popular than Siberian. Harvest outer leaves when 4 to 6 inches long. For fall crop, sow four weeks before last frost.


When: April 1-May 10.

How: Sow 1/2 inch deep, 4 inches apart.

Tips: Make successive plantings two weeks apart in spring. Harvest bulb, which grows above-ground, when the size of a golf ball. Peel with knife.


When: April 1-June 1.

How: Sow 1/2 inch deep, thin to 8 inches apart.

Tips: Leaf or butterhead types preferred by most gardeners. Do not crowd seedlings. Harvest only a few leaves at a time; plants will renew themselves. Feed nitrogenous fertilizers such as bloodmeal and cottonseed meal. Provide shade for midsummer plantings. Grows well alongside carrots, cucumbers. Stale beer in shallow dish traps slugs.


When: May 10-June 1.

How: Sow 1/2 inch deep, 1 foot apart.

Tips: Plant in light, well-drained loam after all danger of frost, and soil temperature is at least 70 degrees. Thin plants to 18 inches apart. Harvest 3- to 4-inch pods daily, if necessary, to keep okra producing. Six plants is a good starter plot. Grow near tomatoes and beans.


When: March 15-April 15.

How: Plant sets, or bulbs, 1 inch deep, 1 inch apart.

Tips: Select smallest bulbs to plant. Thin green onions to 3 inches apart, eating them as scallions. Keep plot free of weeds, which can choke onions out. Cut off developing seed heads. Harvest main crop when foliage is dead, but leave brown tops intact. Best variety for storage is Stuttgarter. Onions dislike

peas, beans.


When: March 15-May 1.

How: Sow 2 inches deep, 2 inches apart.

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