What do you call a potato with glasses? A spec-tater.

Hello, again!

Maybe there is something about waiting to plant potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day. In our area of the country mid-March seems about right for planting many of our early spring crops. That includes seed potatoes, onion sets, cole crops (cold tolerant Brassica plants - cabbage, broccoli and the like) as well as early seeded vegetables - early peas, radish, lettuce and others. We have had these in the store, and some gardeners have already planted; that’s ok. With the cold temperatures this week though, I can’t imagine much has grown at this point. Any of these that you have planted though are fine in the ground. It has not gotten cold enough or been cold long enough to make replanting necessary.

Looking at the long range forecast, the weather looks great for gardening. So maybe it’s time to get the area ready to plant. You may have residue from last year's garden which really should be removed to prevent any disease from carrying over to this season's plants. The compost pile is a great place for the debris. I lightly tilled my garden to remove what annual weeds germinated last fall. Some final cleanup around the asparagus plants, and my garden will be ready for its early, cold-tolerant plants.

One thing I also do is broadcast ferti-lome Gardener’s Special Plant Food before tilling to incorporate this high phosphorus garden fertilizer into the root zone, where it’s readily available to be taken up. These nutrients will be used to keep my plants healthy and to assist in flower and fruit production.

Be sure to stop by for our Spring Open House. With specials throughout the store and plants arriving regularly in both the nursery and greenhouse areas, it’s fun just to take a stroll and see what’s new. Be patient though; the staff has been moving many plants inside and out regularly to protect them from frost.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Centers