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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Early Spring Gardening

Posted by John Fulton -

With our area being split between Zone 5b and 6a according to the USDA hardiness map, let's look at some of the vegetable gardening dates. Very hardy vegetables should be planted March 10 to 25th in Zone 6, and March 25 to April 10 in Zone 5b. These would include many of the greens (collards, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, and spinach), new asparagus crowns, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, rhubarb plants, and turnips.

Frost tolerant vegetables have a recommended planting date range from March 25 to April 10 in Zone 6, and from April 10 to 25th in Zone 5b. These would include transplants of broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, head lettuce, leeks, and onion slips. Add to that list the direct seeded beets, carrots, parsley, parsnips, and salsify, and that will take us to the tender vegetables. Tender vegetables are planted after danger of frost, so that will give us a little bit of time.

Of course, the basics apply just as much as the calendar dates. Don't work soil when it is too wet, plant at the proper depth and spacing, and follow good watering practices (meaning once a week watering deeply rather than frequent misting). Good practices, and good weather, should provide an abundance of fresh items as we go through the growing season

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