You can plant or harvest something from your garden almost all year. The two major planting periods, however, are spring (March to May) and fall (mid-July to September). The spring plantings are harvested in June and July, while the fall plantings are harvested from October to December. January and February are prime times for looking at seed catalogs, dreaming of warm spring days, preparing garden plots, and getting ready for a productive season.
- Make second plantings of such quickly maturing crops as turnips, mustard, radishes and “spring onions.”
- Thin plants when they are 2 to 3 inches tall to give the plants room to grow.
- Carry out any February jobs not completed.
- Treat seed before planting or buy treated seed for protection against seed-borne diseases, seed decay, seedling “damping off” and soil insects such as seed-corn maggots.
- Early-planted crops may need a nitrogen side-dressing, particularly if the soil is cool. Place the fertilizer several inches to the side of the plants and water it in. A little fertilizer throughout the growing period is better than too much at one time.
- Before settling them in the garden, harden-off transplants – place them in their containers outdoors in a sheltered place a few days ahead of planting them.
- Get rows ready for “warm-season” vegetables to be planted during the last week of March or first week or two of April as weather permits.
- You might want to risk planting out a few of the more tender crops and keeping them covered during bad weather.
- Watch out for insects, especially cutworms, plant lice (aphids) and red spider mites.
- Put down mulch between rows to control weeds.