Did you recently move to the southeastern half of the United States? If so, now that spring has officially arrived, you may be wondering what gardening tasks should be on your “to do” list. As a southern gardener myself, I’d like to offer a few suggestions. Here they are:
One of the first spring gardening tasks that my family and I undertake every March is to make sure that the vegetable seeds we plan on using in the warmer months are pretreated. Doing so helps to reduce the chances that our crops will succumb to damping off disease. I have found that it is often caused by wet soil, which can occur if your property has poor drainage. If the seeds we want to utilize are not pretreated, we’ll treat them ourselves with a fungicide. Should you want to give it a try, there are clear instructions for doing so posted on the Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management Handbook’s website.
Conduct a Visual Inspection
Based on my experience, it is also a good idea to check your planting areas for signs of problematic insect activity. I will typically look for dead spots, raised tunnels and the presence of moles. They often indicate the existence of white grubs, which took over my lawn a few years back. I’ll also check my blackberry plants for red spider mites. Like the name suggests, they look like tiny spiders and love to hang out on the plant’s leaves. Other not-so-nice insects that may eventually surface in your spring gardening areas are aphids and cutworms. However, to date, I haven’t had a lot of problems with them.
Manage the Weeds
Another great gardening task to complete in the spring is to get a handle on any emerging weeds. I like to do that by pulling what weeds I can and covering those areas with pine mulch. I have found that doing so tends to help keep the weeds from reappearing.
Thin and Plant
Lastly, if you planted greens and carrots in February, you may want to check the spacing between them. I generally like to leave 5 inches in between each seedling. Otherwise, they don’t seem to grow as well for me. Thus, if your plants look too clustered together, you want to think about thinning them at this time. Should you want to continue having a fresh supply of them throughout the growing season, I’d also suggest thinking about planting more before the month is through. At least that is what I tend to do in March. Should my family eventually tire of all the fresh veggies, I just preserve the remaining harvest by freezing or canning it for future use.
Source: Personal Experience
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