Well folks, this is THE weekend in the Zone 9 vegetable garden! If you have already prepared your beds then this weekend looks to be a perfect time to plant the spring vegetable garden. If you haven’t prepared your beds the weather man says that you will have perfect weather to do it this Saturday and then plant on an absolutely gorgeous Sunday.
March 15 is the recommended planting date for most of the vegetables that we think of as “spring” crops. This weekend is the perfect time to plant some of them from seed and others from transplants. For a complete list of what to plant check out the planting guide on the blog.
Seed - Now is the time to plant snap beans, Lima beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, black eyed peas, crowder peas, summer squash and winter squash from seed. Be sure to check out the variety list on the blog. Patty Leander has spent years determining the very best varieties for central to south eastern Texas.
Transplants-Now is the “kind of recommended” time to put those tomato, pepper and eggplant transplants in the ground. I say “kind of” because none of these plants really like temps below 55 degrees. If you put them in the ground now be prepared to cover them or to cover and give supplemental heat if a late season cold snap comes through. IMHO, if you don’t mind the extra care, it is best to go ahead and get your transplants in the ground. The plants will mature quicker and provide you tomatoes earlier.
There are other great transplants for this weekend. If you have not tried things like chard and kale pick up some at your local nursery and give them a try. You can still find lettuce, collard and mustard greens starts at many places. Get them in the ground now and enjoy fresh salads until temps start getting into the 90s.
March 15 is also a great time to plant your spring color. Right now is a great time to transplant things like salvias, portulaca, periwinkles, impatiens, marigolds and my all time favorite-petunias! The “Carpet Series” is the most successful hybrid line. However, my favoriote is “Laura Bush”. This magenta petunia was developed by my friends at A&M and it is an absolute winner for our area.
Don’t miss this opportunity to seed some of our other old reliables. I grow TONS of zinnias each year. My favorite variety is Benary’s Giant. Scatter them out, rake them in and harvest beautiful flowers up to the first frost. Each spring I also plant lots of sunflowers, gomphrena and cocks comb. All of these flowers can take the heat and actually seem to hit their peak when temps are approaching 100.
Flowers don’t have to be grown in beds. My wife and I love to have fresh arrangements in the house. To make sure I have a ready supply I plant many flowers in rows in my vegetable garden. You can plant things like sunflowers, cocks comb and zinnia every two weeks starting now. This ensures that I have a ready supply of fresh flowers all the way through the fall.
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