Mid-Atlantic

March, 2013
Regional Report

Plant Garden Peas

Peas are cool season vegetables that germinate in cold soil. Plant them according to packet directions as soon as the soil thaws enough to dig. St. Patrick's Day is the traditional planting date. Place tree branches - pea stakes - between the seeds for pea vines to twine.

Start Cool-Season Greens Indoors Under Grow-Lights

Early spinach, spring mix, lettuces, Chinese cabbage, and kale are easy to start indoors in sterile soilless mix. Be sure plastic containers and six-packs are clean and sterilized. Fertilize seedlings with highly diluted kelp for strong plants and make sure seedlings get plenty of light.

Fertilize Spring Bulbs When You See Green

When daffodil, tulip, and crocus foliage pops up, sprinkle the surrounding soil with good quality bulb fertilizer. Water in or apply before a rain so water transports the fertilizer's nutrients to bulb roots. This will help with spring bloom and enrich the bulb for next year's flowers.

Test Your Garden Soil for Nutrients and pH

Apply fertilizer or agricultural lime only if you know your garden soil is deficient in nutrients or the pH is off. Test vegetable and ornamental gardens' soils with analysis kits from the state extension service. They're available online. Take soil samples as directed. Mail samples to the state college lab. For a small fee, you'll receive a detailed soil analysis and specific amendment instructions.

Ease Into Gardening With Early Spring Workouts

Welcome spring gardening with toned muscles. Avoid strained, sore body parts. Start walking and exercising now for strength, agility, and gardening ease. Gently stretch before tackling chores as weather warms.

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