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Spring Garden Questions
Fellow gardeners asked, I answered - a compilation of gardening & growing questions.
We are knee-deep in spring!
It’s cold, but its spring, and your garden beds should be pretty well planted by now. Oftentimes, new gardeners make the mistake of waiting until May to plant something, but with our mild climate, we can start growing as early as March and harvest a full crop before planting out summer crops like tomato, basil, and squash.
Here, I’m sharing common garden questions that fellow subscribers asked in the last 2 weeks.
WARDING OFF PESTS
I also need help with things that eat seedlings: slugs, bunnies, digging birds, you name it. I plant and plant and seem to end up with such a little amount to eat. Row covers keep some things off and let others feast.
You gotta tuck that row cover in, just like a real tight bed! NOTHING should be able to get under there, trapped, and feast. Best to do a good slug hunt before using the cover. What else is eating seedlings - do you know?
I use fencing, netting, AND row cover in my gardens, as the pests really have taken over the last few years.
HOW TO THIN PLANTS
Amy! I need thinning advice I’m always scared to do too much . Do I thin the whole row leaving a thinner line of seedlings? Or do I pluck out bunches in between so there’s seedlings every few inches with dirt in between?
These are carrots, beets and arugula.
Also, should I be worried if I planted a squash and zucchini seeds weeks ago and it hasn’t emerged? (NOTE: this was asked in mid-April)
Carrots - thin to one plant every 1-1 1/2 inches (in the row) and YES soul should be bare between & around each seedling
Beets - thin to one every 2-3 inches
Arugula - I let this grow in big clumps so that you can just grab big handfuls and cut them close to the soil harvesting however much you need at any moment. I never thin arugula. I plan arugula in a square-foot space and broadcast sow.
You are too early for zucchini and anything else in the squash family.
Do you have any advice for successfully growing dill? I love using it chopped mixed into salads etc in my cooking but have had the worst luck with growing it, both starting from seed and also as a start. It just never seems to produce new growth, leaves yellow out, before it wilts and dies. I would appreciate any advice you have! I have dreams of large, lush dill plants!
So funny, I was JUST talking to a fellow farmer about how we BOTH struggle with Dill!! Here are my tips: 1. Plant a TON of seed. 2. Plant at the right time - spring - in FULL SUN in a bed with fresh compost or fertilizer dug in 3. Use floating row cover so seed bed stays consistently moist. 4. Believe. Good luck! Keep me posted!! If you get it growing. I'll ask all my insta-farmers, too, and report back any advice from other pro's. 👨🏽🌾
GROWING POTATOES IN BAGS
I've yet to get my potatoes planted, and I'm planning to put them in bags this year. What soil do you recommend?
If you're doing in bags, I'd do 60% potting soil, 20% topsoil, 20% compost - some sort of casual mix like this. All topsoil is too heavy, but all potting soil would be too "dead".
And then compost adds some good stuff, in the best circumstance.
Have questions of your own? Respond here, or leave a comment on the post, so others can read and respond.
Happy spring, amyp 👩🏽🌾