Including Excerpts from the 2010 Minnesota Gardening Calendar
This month Bob Mugaas tells us the crabgrass has emerged early (Home Lawn Care - Recapping the very early spring of 2010 and what's next for timely information about Lawns) and Jeff Hahn says Spring Insects are Early this year, too. Gardeners across the state have been inquiring if they can plant and perform other garden and yard tasks earlier than in past years. Below we provide advice for this gardening season come early.
Advice for the Gardening Season Come Early
When to Plant Flowers
Why Wait? In most Minnesota locations, perennials can be planted after mid-month, but wait until you're certain there will be no more frost before adding flowering annuals to the garden. Most, including impatiens and geraniums, have no frost tolerance. Pansies, violas, and johnny jump-ups are among the few annuals that will not be killed or badly damaged by frost. Calendulas, snapdragons, and sweet alyssum may also be planted a little early.
You can identify when your area is likely to be frost-free using the MN spring frost-free map: http://climate.umn.edu/pdf/frost_dates/spring_frost_free_dates.pdf
When to Plant Vegetables
|Kale and other cool season vegetables can be |
planted as soon as the garden bed is ready.
Warm season vegetables, like tomatoes and peppers should be planted after the last chance of frost. See "Planting the Vegetable Garden": http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/vegetables/planting-the-vegetable-garden/ for guidance on when to plant and how far apart to space your vegetables.
Plant Diagnostic Modules: Pictures, simple descriptions, and easy to follow management instructions make it easy to stay ahead or just keep up with plant pests and problems using any of the University of Minnesota Garden Info Diagnostics Modules:
Keep Up with Early Pests and Diseases
Keeping Plants Healthy and Green While Going Green
When to Perform Lawn CareThe lawn care calendar guide "Upper Midwest Home Lawn Care for Cool Season Grasses" (http://www.sustland.umn.edu/maint/calendar.htm) is a helpful guide for scheduling lawn maintenance. However, this month, learn how to adjust your lawn maintenance practices for this earlier than normal growing season with Bob Mugaas' timely article, Lawn Care: Recapping the very early spring of 2010 and what's next for timely information.
For more information on lawn care, see the University of Minnesota Garden Info lawns section: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/turfgrass/
SoilsAre you starting a raised bed? Ordering soil? Adding Compost? Find information on soil topics at the University of Minnesota Garden Info soils section: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/soils/
You needn't test your garden soil annually, but if plants have grown poorly the past year or two, despite being in a sunny location and receiving normal care, visit U of M Soil Testing Lab web site: http://soiltest.cfans.umn.edu/ . You'll get a questionnaire with instructions on taking and sending in samples, If the problem is due to a nutrient imbalance, excess alkalinity, or acidity, they'll suggest a remedy, with respect to what you are growing.