, Newburyport, MA


April 9, 2014

Tim's Tips: Answers to early spring gardening questions

It was nice to have a decent weekend. Sad when the definition of a nice weekend is 50 degrees and howling winds!

People were coming into the garden center with lots of questions. Let me take a few moments and answer some of those questions.

People were asking if it was too soon to put down a crabgrass control on their lawn. The general rule of thumb is that the crabgrass control is put down when you see the forsythia bushes in bloom. There have been years when that was the first week in April, and there are years when it is in early May.

The answer is if you see the bright yellow forsythia bushes in bloom, it’s time to put down the crabgrass control.

Pansies are now in many of the garden centers. People have asked if it is too early to plant the pansies. Pansies are one of the most cold-tolerant of the spring-blooming flowers. There is nothing that says spring like a window box full of colorful pansies. Take some time, and get your planters filled with some beautiful pansies.

People have also asked if there are any vegetable plants that they can set out in the garden. The cold-tolerant vegetable plants are lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, peas, spinach, chives, parsley and kale. There are also many vegetable plants that you can plant from seed in the garden. These include beets, carrots, peas and onions. Onion sets will be available in a few weeks.

Don’t feel that you have to wait to plant something in your vegetable garden. There are many cold-tolerant plants that you can put into the ground now.

A few people have asked about removing the burlap that was placed around plants in the fall. The purpose of the burlap is to protect the plants from the wind and also to help prevent damage from wet snow. If you base the decision on wind alone, then, yes, you could remove the burlap. The ground is reasonably thawed so your plants can take up water to offset any moisture lost to the wind.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Special Features
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Special Features