Spring is on the way so get ready

By PHILIP CASE State Journal Columnist Published:

Check it out, gardening friends: Springs just two weeks from tomorrow! The days are longer and from time to time a lot warmer so its time to start getting ready for this years gardening season.

Today I have several things to share with you. First, the information for planting, then all about what you can put out in your early spring garden, and finally the same question from two readers!

Moon Light Now

The moon is in the light phase now and will remain there all this week and until Tuesday, March 14, when the full moon comes into force at 6:35 p.m. Any planting, seeding, or other gardening activities now should be limited to those things that produce above the ground.

According to the signs of the zodiac, this week has it all including great days, bean days, and killing days.

Today the sign is in Taurus (the neck), one of the four most fertile signs when you can plant anything that produces above the ground. But before you run out and start doing that, please read here all about what can be planted in early gardens,

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday find the sign moving to Gemini (the arms), the bean sign. Let it be said here were about two months away from the first planting of bush or pole green beans, but any of these days would be great for planting peas since theyre of the pod family, like beans, but unlike beans they actually love and thrive in cool weather.

An aside about peas: Ive written in this space for years about the late Dr. Harry Cowherd who was not only my physician but also my friend, and an avid gardener. He used to say if peas werent in the ground by Washingtons birthday (Feb. 22), then it was too late. Youll see here that peas are among the cool-weather veggies that can be planted now.

Were not much past Feb. 22 so if you have the space and to harvest a significant number of peas you need a lot of them and your grounds ready, then Monday through Wednesday are great days to plant them.

Thursday and Friday the sign is in Cancer (the breast), another of the four fruitful signs. The same thing that I said about Taurus above applies to Cancer.

Saturday, Sunday, and next Monday (March 11-13) find the sign moving to Leo (the heart), one of the two killing signs. Reserve these days for cultivating (if the grounds dry), deadening, cleaning out fencerows any activity but planting!

Spring Gardens

The gardening season really doesnt have to wait until the first tomato plant goes in the ground after Mothers Day! It can begin here in mid-March with those veggies that actually like cool weather and cool soil temperatures, and can withstand frosts, freezes even some snow. Ive already mentioned peas, here are some others if you have the space, the inclination and, of course, like these veggies.

Now: snow peas, spinach

After March 10: onion sets, radishes, rhubarb (crowns), rutabaga, and turnips

After March 15: Irish potatoes you really dont need to wait until Good Friday this year since that wont happen until April 14!

After March 20: onion seeds, parsley, and parsnips

After March 25: leaf lettuce, Bibb lettuce plants, head lettuce plants, and onion plants

This information comes from Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky, published by the University of Kentuckys Cooperative Extension Service.

A Question

Two readers asked when would it be a good time to plant grass seed in March. Although the best time is during the dark moon of February, during the dark moon in March couldnt be too bad. Thats coming March 15-28 if you have grass seed to plant.

If you have questions, dont hesitate to call me here at the newspaper (227-4556), at home (223-8422), or e-mail me at pcase@state-journal.com.

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