Northern & Central Midwest

March, 2010
Regional Report

Spruce Up the Lawn

When the snow leaves, it's time to think about sprucing up the lawn. If it thinned over the winter, there is no reason to overseed. Allow it to thicken on its own first. Also, don't be tempted to roll out the lumps. This will only compact the soil. Consider core aeration, a light fertilization and high mowing to thicken grass.

Be Ready to Harden Transplants

Make sure you have plans in place to harden off your transplants. They will need gradual exposure to the outdoors before moving them into the garden. Find a place with partial shade and no wind, and move them out for an hour the first day, two to three hours the second day and so on until they are ready.

Plant Spinach

Plant spinach as soon as the ground can be worked. You can even broadcast spinach seeds on the snow. Plant every two weeks until hot weather arrives, and be sure to thin seedlings so the plants have plenty of room to grow. Make sure to have seeds on hand for fall planting as well.

Plant Radishes

Plant radishes as soon as the soil can be worked. Sow seeds every ten to fourteen days. Plant in spaces between slow-maturing vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts or in spots that will later be used for peppers, tomatoes and squash. Let some go to seed so you can harvest the tasty, mild-radish flavored pods.

Plant Onions

Plant onion sets or transplants as soon as the garden soil can be worked without becoming a mucky mess. Onions from sets (tiny bulbs) will produce scallions and some bulbs. For consistent bulbing and good storage, use transplants (small onion plants). Plant three to four inches apart.

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