Happy spring! No more “early” about it; the new season is officially here. That means no more excuses – get busy! Prepare garden beds by digging in compost, aged manure and soil amendments. Let it mellow for at least two weeks before planting those beds.
▪ Got ground ready for growing? In the vegetable garden, plant seeds for beets, carrots, celery, Swiss chard, endive, fennel, jicama, leaf lettuce, mustard, radishes and turnips.
▪ In the flower garden, plant aster, celosia, cosmos, larkspur, nasturtium, nicotiana, portulaca, salvia, snapdragon, verbena and zinnia.
▪ For frost watchers, Monday represents the average last day of frost in much of the greater Sacramento area. That doesn’t mean it’s not cold at night. Protect early, warm-weather transplants (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc.) with plastic 2-liter soda bottles or gallon jugs. Cut off the bottom and leave the top open for air circulation.
▪ Weed, weed, weed. Get them out before they go to seed. According to master gardeners, the most common weeds in Sacramento County in March: filaree, wild geranium, bedstraw and such annual grasses as foxtail, barley, wild oats and bluegrass.
▪ Instead of pulling weeds, use a sharp hoe. Cut the weeds off just under the root crown; aim for about a half-inch below soil level. That method disturbs soil less than pulling weeds, and keeps new seeds from migrating to the surface where they can sprout.