Darrell Blackwelder: Time to start planning for spring planting

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 31, 2022

Home gardeners will be receiving a steady supply of garden and seed catalogs for next spring’s plantings. Long winter evenings are an excellent time to peruse seed catalogs to plan next season’s outdoor gardens.

It’s often a good idea to try a new vegetable and or a flower variety each season. All America Selections are usually excellent choices for those that enjoy experimentation. Make sure you label new varieties and record data for later reference.

Don’t rely solely on fantastic results claimed by colorful seed catalogs. Featured vegetable and floral varieties can be somewhat exaggerated with their results. Some seed companies often rely on data from test gardens in the Mid-West or the Northern tier of states which have climates unlike ours that will not produce the same quality or quantity.

Remember to be cognizant of your planting dates. Many of our cool-season flowers and vegetables can be planted in early March. Home gardeners often wait too late to plant and miss the narrow windows of opportunity for early spring cool season plantings.

Seed companies have limited quantities of many vegetable and flower varieties so it is advisable to place seed orders as early as possible.  New flower and vegetable varieties are a welcome addition to the home garden during the growing season.

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at deblackw@ncsu.edu.

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