It’s time to get that garden started

It doesn’t feel like it, but it’s spring, and that means it’s time to start your vegetable garden. Start with the wrong veggies, though, and you’ll end up with … nothing but frost-wilted plants ready for the compost heap.

The folks over at Rodale have some handy tips here and here to get you growing despite winter weather that’s overstayed its welcome. Here are a few:

“Seed Starting. Start seeds of warm-season vegetables like peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes the first week in April. These will be ready for transplant into the garden in late May. Start seeds of herbs, such as dill, parsley and basil … inside through the end of the month.

 Germinate Seeds

Find a warm, dark place to put seeded flats to germinate. They must be checked daily (twice daily is better) and at the first sign of growth be moved under florescent lights.

 Realistic Green Sprouting Seeds | Free vector by Vecto2000
Realistic Green Sprouting Seeds | Free vector by Vecto2000

Prepare Peas

Pea seeds germinate faster if they are soaked overnight in warm water. Use a container big enough to allow them to swell to double their size. If you have some soaked pea seeds left after planting your pea rows, try planting them in a large outdoor containers, such as a half-barrel.

Transplant Rhubarb 

Plant or transplant rhubarb before it begins to grow. Rhubarb can stay in the same place for many years, but it should be divided if you are mainly getting skinny stalks.

Seed Savvy. 

Direct seed into the garden cool season vegetables … including carrots, beets, peas, parsnips.

Set out hardy seedlings such as onions, cabbage, leafy greens … Harden them off for a day or two by leaving them out in a protected area.

Potato Preparation.

 Pre-sprout potatoes two weeks in advance of setting them out in the garden to give them a head start.

Seeding Time. 

All the makings of borscht can be planted in the garden now: direct seed beets, plant potatoes, and cabbage seedlings. Warm-season vegetables, like the melon for melon soup, cucumbers and squash, need a jump-start inside three weeks before planting out around Memorial Day.