Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association


February, 2001
Regional Report

Early Bulbs for Cut Flowers

Enjoy some fresh cut flowers from the early spring garden. Try cutting the earliest snowdrops and set the vase on a mirror so you can enjoy their downward nodding blooms better. Grape hyacinths, early varieties of daffodils, and rock garden tulips make good cut flowers as well.

Rotate Veggies

Growing closely related plants such as tomato, potato, eggplant and peppers (or members of the cabbage and broccoli family; or cucumber, melon and squash group) in the same location each year may encourage a pest or disease buildup in the soil. Try not to plant vegetables from the same group in the same location 2 years in a row. Rotating them will help reduce the build up of pest and disease cycles.

Prune Forsythia

Forsythia should be pruned right after it finishes blooming. This naturally large and spreading shrub should be pruned by removing some of the oldest branches - cutting them to the ground. This type of pruning encourages plants to send up new growth from the base and renew itself continually.

Grow Cold-Hardy Greens

Grow some cold-tolerant greens such as spinach, arugula, and leaf lettuce in a protected cold frame for early-season salads. Plant seedlings in large pots or trays inside the cold frame. When plants are several inches tall, harvest a handful or two of greens at a time, using scissors to shear the plants off short. Fertilize with a water-soluble fertilizer, allow them to regrow, and then harvest again.

Sow Early Herbs

For an early harvest, consider starting seeds of cold-tolerant herbs such as parsley and chives indoors. After a month indoors the seedlings can be hardened off and transplanted into the garden, where they'll grow happily in the cool weather of early spring.


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