Wow, what a WET past few weeks! I am sure many of you, as am I, are wondering when we will have enough clear skies and sunshine to spend more time outside! Our office has been busy with many of you stopping by to drop off soil samples for analysis. If you have not done so already, you can still bring soil from your garden plot into our office for analysis. A soil sample test is $9 and will provide exact fertilizer and lime recommendations for the crops you would like to grow in your garden. For those of you that know what fertilizer composition is recommended for your garden plot, it is time to purchase and apply the fertilizer to your garden plot. Spread fertilizer and lime according to the exact recommendations on your soil test results, or, follow the approximate fertilizer recommendations in Table 1.

If you plan to grow tomatoes, peppers, or eggplants from seed, now is the time to plant these seeds in your seed boxes. Peppers and eggplants will take eight weeks to grow from seed to transplant size, and tomatoes will take six weeks. At this time, you should also prepare the land in your garden plot for late winter and early spring gardens by building up raised garden rows. Raised rows in your garden provide better drainage and earlier soil warm-up. This month you can make a first planting of crops such as cabbage, collards, mustard, lettuce, carrots, English peas, radishes, Irish potatoes, turnips, and spinach. If you plant these crops, be sure to apply a “starter” fertilizer solution around them.