Gardening Tips For Early Season Transplants


If you have started your seeds under grow lights or in a greenhouse and hardened them off properly, it is time to really get the garden going. Before putting anything in the ground, think about which vegetables would benefit from a layer of black paper/plastic mulch. Raised beds will heat up quickly in the spring, but with a piece of mulch on top, you will get a significant boost to the root development of your transplants. Of course, later in the season you will get the added benefit of eliminating most of your weeding requirements.

4 Ft. X 50 Ft. Black Biodegradable Planters Paper Mulch By Grower’s Solution

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Having laid down your mulch, make a X scissors cut wherever you are going to insert a plant. Depending upon the vegetable, these cuts should be one to two feet apart. The instructions on the back of the seed packet or on the label of the pot, if you have bought plants at a garden center, will give you the proper spacing. Using mulch is excellent for heat loving above ground crops like broccoli, peppers, tomatoes and melons. As you set the transplants into the ground, it is a good idea to mix up a batch of organic starter fertilizer (one or two tablespoons per gallon of water) and moisten the area immediately around the plant. Many vegetables dont require transplanting at all and do better with direct seeding. These would include, beets, beans, carrots, peas, radishes, etc.

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If you live in the colder climates, anything that will extend the season at the beginning as well as at the end is very important. Two products are really worth looking into. The first are floating row covers. Made of extremely lightweight fabric, the covers literally float above your plants and increase the temperature in your raised beds. They will also protect your plants from light morning frosts.

Winter Blanket/frost Cover-seed Bed-floating Row Cover- Crop Cover 6′ X 100′- 1 Ea. By Grower’s Solution

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Beds that have rounded hoops placed three feet apart along the entire length of the box, with the row cover placed on top with a medium or heavyweight row cover will create almost a greenhouse environment in which the transplants will thrive. The row covers also provide a barrier against unwanted pests that dine on the young springtime leaves.

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The second great season extending product is something called WALL O WATER For me these add at least a month to the season because I can transplant my tomatoes and peppers in mid April rather than waiting until the end of May. The wallssurrounding the plants are a series of 18 inch high plastic tubes connected to each other and shaped like a cone. The water filled tubes absorb the warmth of the sun during the day and release it at night. I have actually measured the outside temperature at 45 degrees and found it to be 65 degrees inside the wall of water. Some garden centers may carry the Walls of Water, but they are certainly available on-line.

A few short weeks from now, all our gardens will be thriving. Unfortunately, so will the weeds! Boxes that have that layer of plastic or paper mulch will do ok, but nothing is weed free. Emerging carrots and radishes, your asparagus bed, and many of your herb plots will be battling with weeds for available nutrients in the soil. Youll have to go after those weeds by hand. Stay on top of it and the weeds will lose out.

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Raised Bed GardenJust an extra tip, be careful about using grass clippings as a mulch. This is fine as long as you are certain the clippings are weed and chemical free. Lawn cutting services may be putting all sorts of chemicals down that may be detrimental to your garden.

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We have survived another harsh winter, so get out to the garden as soon as possiblelike tomorrow!

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Harold

Harold

Homesteader, Blogger and Podcaster at Small Town Homestead
I am a husband to Mary and father to three daughters. My family and I are striving to become more self sufficient everyday as we grow our own food and pursue a more natural and organic lifestyle.
Harold

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