NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

June 5, 2013

It's not too late to start planting

I didn’t think that you could have two consecutive weekends that would have the weather extremes that we had the past two weekends. It’s been a very crazy spring of 2013.

Over the previous week, many customers were in a panic because they had not gotten anything planted in their flower beds or their vegetable gardens. If you consider the wacky weather we have had, I can fully understand why they didn’t get started. If you traditionally plant some of your vegetables from seed, you should buy started plants at this point in time. Many of your vegetable seeds need about 10 to 14 days to sprout. By putting in started plants, you can easily make up for any “lost” time due to the weather. I have started many a vegetable garden in mid-June and had a good harvest just a bit behind anyone who planted in late May. I guess it is one of the perils of owning a garden center. You are so busy helping others get their gardens planted that you wind up getting your own garden planted late.

If you didn’t get your flower boxes planted, you still have plenty of time to get them planted, too. Most of the growers that I deal with still have plants to sell, and we will keep on bringing in new plants each week. All in all, the answer is, yes, you still have time to plant your gardens.

The pest of the past week would appear to be the ant. So many people have come into the store complaining of ants creating mounds in the lawn. In most cases, if you can live with the ants in the lawn, you don’t really need to do anything. If the problem is severe, you can apply a granular ant control to the lawn. This type of product needs to be watered into the soil in order to be effective. If the ants are in the vegetable garden, their tunneling could damage the roots of newly planted seedlings. An application of insecticide should control the problem in the garden.

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