Ready, Set, Garden

With the wet, rainy reason drawing to a close, now is the time to begin garden planning and preparation. Cool season vegetable and colorful wildflowers are ready to be sown.

While the soil is still warm, it’s an ideal time to prep and give your plants an opportunity to get established before the really cold weather sets in.

Start out by sketching the layout of your vegetable garden, taking into account the sunlit and shaded area of your “canvas” and also noting the mature size of the various plants. Now is a good time to evaluate your landscape and consider possible replacements of trees, shrubs and perennials that may have been hurt during the summer storm season.

The soil will need preparation. Whether it has been previously worked on or not, you’ll need to turn the soil to a depth of a foot or more. After turning, work in a generous amount of compost throughout and evenly about three to six inches and add fertilizer. Use a product made up of nitrogen and phosphorus. For soil that may be too hard or rocky, a raised bed will allow you to build your own soil.

Cool season vegetables to plant now would include beets, carrots, peas, cabbage, broccoli, and spinach. By staggering the planting of seeds and transplants, you’ll protect a crop against loss over a hot spell.

Tending to a winter lawn will call for you to stop fertilizing your Bermuda grass now and prepare to over seed with winter ryegrass. Do this when night temperatures go below sixty-five degrees.

Don’t cut back on watering until temperatures start to dip below 100 degrees and nights begin to cool. It’s still very hot, so your plants are going to need hydration.