Are these warm sunny days making you itchy to plant things? Sprouts has plenty of frost tolerant plants that could go in the ground this weekend, so plan your weekend to satisfy that spring fever itch!
Vegetable gardeners, now is the time to plant brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts). Sure, they can go in the ground later, but planting them now means you’ll be feasting on garden treats sooner rather than later! The same goes for celery, leeks, and either onion plants or sets. Be aware that plants will need a few days to harden off, while sets (bulbs) can go straight into the ground. The beauty of sets is they have their own water reserve, so if moisture is not on the horizon, they can might be your best bet.
Perennial crops can be planted now. Our asparagus and rhubarb are hardened off for light frosts, but cover them if temps dip down to low 20s. The artichokes haven’t been hardened off yet, but don’t let that stop you. Artichokes, and other plants that are still used to the greenhouse, need to be hardened off before being planted. Hardening is an easy process, and this article explains it well.
If you’re not on a low-carb diet and want more potatoes in your life, this is perfect planting time for spuds. Start direct seeding your leafy greens- lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale, sorrel, bok choy, and chard. They’ll be up and growing soon! Plant some every two weeks so you’ll always have a new crop to replace to old, bolted and bitter. If you want a head start on your home-grown salads, we have kale, bok choy, chard, beets and lettuce mixes that are leafed out and ready to be transplanted.
Peas – sugar, snap or shelling- are very cold hardy, so drop a row of peas in the ground while you’re at it. Turnips, kohlrabi, parsnips, radishes, beets, and carrots are root vegetables, so they should be direct seeded, and that can happen now. They’ll appreciate the chance to get their growing and production done before summer’s hot days come along. If you missed the chance to plant garlic in the fall, consider planting a spring variety in the coming couple of weeks.
Life is not just about vegetables. At least a few (hundred) of us are craving color in our lives! Thankfully, there are a number of flowering annuals that are also frost tolerant. Pansies and violas are blooming away, and sure to put a smile on your face. The wall of calibrachoas (aka million bells, or callies, or “those flower that look like small petunias but aren’t petunias”) is full of vibrant colors. Petunias- the real petunias- are blossoming, and the variety of colors is fantastic. Petunias can handle frost, but won’t do much growing until days get warmer. Osteospermums or African daisies are bursting with flower buds, and a few have popped open. Snap dragons are a remarkably frost tolerant plants and come in a variety of heights and colors. This year’s batch of perennials that were seeded in winter are now outside, hardened off, and ready to be established in your yard. Some are even blooming already!
If bulbs are your thing, there are a number of spring bulbs to consider planting now: dahlias, lilies, callas, and gladiolus. All have a variety of colors to choose from, and do well in our area. Budget minded gardeners might consider sowing flowering sweet peas, pansies and bachelor’s buttons seeds in your garden beds. They all flower prolifically for a long time.
In case you’re leaning more towards permanent plants, spring is a fabulous time to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials. The soil has gathered moisture through recent storms, and has softened up. Digging is easier now then in the fall after heat and low moisture has compacted the soil to a cement-like state.
So go ahead, scratch that gardening itch!
If you haven’t checked out the new and improved Sprouts web page in the last month, here are three reasons why you should:
1) It’s a fabulous place to research the 900+ varieties of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and vegetables that we grow and sell.
2) You can make on-line purchases of many of our trees, shrubs and perennials (for store pick up)
3) You’ll receive a 20% discount for on-line orders placed before April 15th
Spend all the time you care to on-line, no kids tugging at your sleeve, no spouse sighing at your declaration of going back into greenhouse 1 for another look. Stacy, who did much of the work, thinks it will help customers “put a planting plan together with all of the information about mature plant size, zones, spacing, bloom times, and so on. It will be easier for customers to plan their dream garden!”
For instance, once you click on “perennials” the next screen shows you a variety of ways to consider options, from sun requirements to height to water needs. As Griff is quick to point out, “There is a heading titled ‘Deer Resistant’ which many of our gardeners will find helpful. Please note that the phrase is deer resistant and not deer proof!”
Being able to submit your order on-line for store pick up or delivery is a nice customer service touch that Griff is excited to offer. “Some of our customers are short on time, or are passing through town. We have a lot of customers who live outside of Fremont County, so this will help them know what’s available before hopping in the car and making the drive.”
Who doesn’t love saving money? You’ve got plenty of time to make decisions about what perennials, shrubs and trees you want plant this year. You’ll receive 20% off orders placed before April 15th.
If you’re not comfortable with making a purchase on-line, call the store at 800-479-3572 with your purchase list. Also, please call for delivery estimate prior to buying on-line if you plan to have your purchased delivered.
Gardening and Backyard Living Expo
Mark your calendars and join the fun at the expo. Admission is free, and there are 10 information sessions offered on everything from saving seeds to enhancing garden production, everything about chickens “pasture to plate” to container gardening made easy.
Bring the kids along, and they’ll have fun at the Kids Corner while you listen to lectures or stroll through displays of new products for gardening, landscaping or outdoor recreation. Concessionaires will be there in case you need a bite to eat.
There will also be raffle prizes. Be sure to enter for drawings for gift baskets and for a balled and burlapped tree from Sprouts. We'll be there and hope to see you!
Saturday, April 11th
9 am -3 pm
Lander Valley High School Field House