March 12, 2011

Tip of the day--Let’s get growing!

DSC_9910 Last year I started a Gardening 101 series, which I wasn’t able to dedicate nearly as much time on as I had hoped.  Gardening and planting and playing outside got in the way of typing.  ;)  I thought that I’d link up to some of the more popular posts that I’ve written about the subject of gardening.  I hope to have more time to write more information in the Gardening 101 series this year, but until then, this information will help to get you started. 

Gardening—this post contains information on gardening with children, general tips, local resources, and some of my favorite resource books and sites.

Gardening 101—learning about the zone map

Gardening 101 Series—learning about perennials, annuals, biennials

Guest Post—What is Biodynamics?  Part 1 and Part 2

Tips on how to save money in the garden

Potato Boxes

A few pointers on bulbs


What can you do right now?

  • Right now in the East TN area (zone 6a and b) you can start to plant many of the early spring crops.  You can get onions and potatoes into the ground as soon as it can be worked (when it isn’t frozen).  Though with all of the rain we’ve been having, I’d wait until the ground dries a bit before you plant either, especially potatoes. 
  • You can start many of your spring and summer crops indoors.  Many gardeners start doing so in January, but it is perfectly fine to start now if you haven’t yet planted anything. I’ll be planting some eggplant seeds in the next couple of days, for instance.  The virtue of starting seeds indoors is that you get a little jumpstart on the season.  You can also plant slow growing vegetables and flowers from seed (tomatoes, for instance) and have access to many more varieties over what will be available as a plant at the gardening center.
  • As the ground dries a little more, I also plan to plant my early spring crops of beets, lettuces, spinach, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, kale, and peas.  All of those crops can be directly sown without any problems.  The cabbage can also be started indoors if you prefer, but I’m a bit of a lazy gardener and just pop the seeds into the ground rather than worrying about starting them inside.  For the last two gardening years, I had planted these crops by this time.  With the downpours that we’ve had, though, I decided to wait and am so glad that I did.  The seeds that had not yet germinated and developed roots would have been washed away, and I would have lost the seeds.
  • For bedding plants and flowers, you can start to plant things like pansies and violas (Johnny Jump Ups), but I wouldn’t start into planting much more than that until after the middle of April.  We’ll still get a few more frosts, and tender plants that don’t like the cold will seem to melt in the cold. 

Let me know if you have any gardening questions or something in particular you’d like for me to cover in a future post.

1 comment:

  1. I'm planting potatoes and onions once my garden drains out a bit...