Ah, spring is coming soon! Now is the time to test your soil, get your garden beds ready for planting, and plan your spring garden.
Spring Soil Preparation and Soil Testing
You can take a soil sample to your local county co-op extension office to have it tested or buy a do it yourself kit at any big box store or local nursery.
If you don’t want to go to the trouble of testing, a sure way to enrich your soil is to use a balanced organic fertilizer and compost. I add organic material every spring, building the soil’s fertility and ability to hold water.
A local CSA and organic gardener told me a couple of years ago that it is important to not let your fertilizer just lay on top of the ground as many of the nutrients will be lost.
This spring, we will put down an organic fertilizer Re-Vita Pro 5-4-4, a layer of mushroom compost and top with mulch.
What I'm Planting this March in My Zone 6 Garden
Green Oakleaf Lettuce - ready to harvest in 45 days
Wild Garden Kales - ready to harvest in 30 days
Mesclun Valentine Lettuce mix (red tinted lettuce and greens) - ready to harvest in 30-55 days
Marvel of Four Seasons Butterhead Lettuce (I love the sweet taste of butterheads) - ready to harvest in 55 days
Short Top Icicle Radish (a white, mild radish that looks like a white carrot) - ready to harvest in 28 days
Space Hybrid Spinach - ready to harvest in 38 days
Gourmet Blend Lettuce (Prizeleaf, Royal Oak Leaf, Salad Bowl, Ashley) - ready to harvest in 45 days
Sugar snap peas - ready to harvest in 70 days
Broccoli raab - ready to harvest in 50 days (leaves are great in salads)
Carrots Short ‘n Sweet - ready to harvest in 68 days.
These can be companion planted with cabbage, beets, chives, garlic, and onions. Since they are shallow rooted, they grow well with root crops.
When I plant in pots, I water in with fish emulsion. Germination should take anywhere from 4-15 days. I am sure I will be out there looking for little green shoots daily.
Important tip - if planting seeds in a mulched bed, be sure to cover the seed with only soil; seedlings are too weak to push through mulch.
Zone 6 Spring Garden Road Map
Planting your seedlings outdoors:
March 31st - cabbage, leeks, lettuce, okra, onions
April 7th - lettuce, lemon balm, parsley
April 14th - broccoli, cauliflower, thyme
April 21st - sage
May 5th - basil, chives, cucumbers, tomatoes
May 12th - cantaloupe, eggplant, marigolds, pepper
Starting your seeds indoors for summer planting
March 3rd - chives, eggplant, leeks, lemon balm, marigolds, onions, parsley, peppers, sage, thyme, tomatoes
March 17th - basil, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, okra
March 31st - cantaloupe, cucumber, lettuce
These dates are just guidelines. You can start your seedlings later and plant your transplants later as well. Be sure to read the seed packet for what you are starting. They make all kinds of varieties that are cold hardy that can be planted sooner.
What Made It Through the Winter and Is Sprouting in Early March?
Overwintered spinach, parsley, garlic, salad burnet, French sorrel, kale, oregano, Italian dandelions, strawberries, cilantro, onions, chives, wild leeks, sage and thyme.
In the greenhouse, lettuce, spinach, kale, celery and blood veined sorrel are still alive.
For more gardening tips, see my blog at www.VictoryGardenOnTheGolfCourse.com.