Getting A Jump On Spring

Getting A Jump On Spring

Getting A Jump On Spring

Try these ideas to get a head start on your spring garden.

  • Try wintering over a late planting of lettuce by covering it with a foot of loose hay. This also works for other crops such as greens and parsley, but the flavor will be stronger.

  • In areas where the ground stays frozen all winter, try planting a crop of peas after the ground has frozen. You'll get a big jump on the next growing season.

  • To warm the soil more quickly, cover the ground with clear plastic.

  • Many plants can be started indoors from seeds, then transplanted to the garden when the soil warms. Some plants that start easily from seeds are cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and lettuce. Some other plants are more difficult to start from seeds. They require just the right amount of sunlight and water, as well as a warm environment. These include peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, celery, petunias and begonias just to name a few. Find out more in Starting Plants from Seed.

  • Hotbeds and coldframes are great season extenders. Oregon State University Extension Service has an excellent article on Constructing Coldframes and Hotbeds available online in Acrobat Reader format.

  • Hot caps act as little greenhouses for tender young plants. They can be purchased at your garden supply store, or you can make your own from gallon milk jugs. Cut the bottom from the milk jug, and anchor it firmly to the ground over your plant. Leave the lid off to allow air to circulate.

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