Sunday, April 28, 2013

Early Garden Planting

I have never planted a garden as early as the last week of April, but I decided to take a chance that it wasn't too early and get all of my planting done for the entire summer. I went to a local hardware store that has an outdoor section with plants and vegetables etc.



They had their 1 quart perennials and annuals 4 for $10, and their herbs and vegetable plants 5 for $10. I purchased some tomatoes and pepper plants to put in my garden. After over planting last year and the tomato plants competing for sun after they grew taller, I have learned that less might be more!



I have always had the worst luck with trying to start my garden from seed. In my case, with such a small garden to plant to begin with, it is the same price or cheaper to purchase my plants already germinated and a few inches tall. This helps me avoid the task of growing them indoors, waiting to see which ones don't die, then remembering to water them, then risking them getting shocked when transitioning to the outdoor weather. Purchasing my plants already looking strong works well for me and there is a lot less chance the plant will die.

My hope with this early planting is that the roots will take a firm hold to the ground earlier and allow the plant to actually start growing earlier in the season than they did last year. I am also going to fertilize them more frequently because last year my pepper plants only yielded a few peppers apiece, and they were small at that.



Another great perk to planting this early: it isn't hot outside and the soil is usually pretty easy to move since there is a fair amount of rain in the spring. It also helps you avoid having to water you plants after planting in them in the ground-just plant the day before you expect rain!


Remember, spring plants are still delicate, so you will want to wait a week or two before you consider fertilizing them because they are already getting acclimated to weather changes outside and their roots are just being exposed to new conditions as well. It is best to wait so that you don't shock your plant with too many changes at once.



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