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Are You Ready for Spring Planting?

Spring is only a couple of weeks away, which means it’s the perfect time to start planning your spring garden – or at least the time to start planning on having a plan (a very important chapter in the Procrastinator’s Handbook). A lot of us would probably like to just skip ahead to the harvest. <em>Wouldn’t it be nice to have fresh broccoli and carrots and lettuce, oh my!</em> And, it would! But, first there are a few steps to take before we have a homegrown salad. <strong>Spring Soil Prep</strong> It all starts with good earth. Spring soil is ready for planting when it crumbles in the hand and the key is to wait until it “dries out” from the winter wet. <em>Weeds</em> First, you’ll want to clear out last year’s dead plants (and add them to your compost, if you like) and the new weeds that have likely already begun sprouting … because they’re weeds, dang it. Once you’ve done this, you may opt to cover the area with plastic sheeting to suppress new weeds from growing while you gear up for your planting day. <em>Manure / Lime</em> If the heavy precipitation is at an end in your neck o’ the woods you can start prepping the soil by coating it with a loose top layer of manure. Your manure can be last season’s <a title="Composting" href="http://www.atgstores.com/composting_2018.html" target="_blank">compost</a> if it’s ready or a store-bought mix if that’s what you prefer. This may also include an application of lime. If so, and if you’re unsure whether spring rains have had the best of you, you may want to cover treated areas (or be prepared to do so) for when the storms move through. <strong>Spring Seed Selection</strong> Are you growing a vegetable garden, a flower garden or both? Either way, picking out the seeds is the next-best thing to picking the plant. <em>Vegetables</em>: The best choices for early spring planting include a variety of leafy greens and root veggies. Onions, carrots, radishes, beets, turnips and taters are popular below-ground fare, while spinach, lettuce, kale, arugula and collards make great early starts up top. <em>Flowers</em>: Early spring flower gardens are a big hit because 1) there are a lot of beautiful spring flowers from which to choose and 2) by the time spring rolls around people are ready for some color. Kick spring off right with an array of daffodils, tulips, pansies, trilliums and primrose. <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> wishes you well in your spring planting.
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