We gardeners are dreamers by nature.
How else could we look at those little bitty tomato plants we start with each summer and mulch, weed feed, water and protect them from insects and other pests, and envision the red, ripe and luscious fruit that our labors will bring in a couple of months?
The seed companies know us well, which is why garden catalogs jam our mail boxes this time of year, and garden centers and home improvement stores start stocking seed packets months before we could reasonably be expected to plant them outdoors.
The dead of winter is not too soon to start dreaming about where and what we’ll be planting in our vegetable and flower gardens as soon as the soil starts to warm up.
Now is a good time to sketch out our garden plots. We need to keep in mind that the time for planting our cool weather veggies, like lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, snow peas and other crops that can withstand light frost is not really all that far away!
In choosing a spot for your early, cool weather vegetables, you’ve got to employ a bit of imagination! Take a look at the trees. Sure, right now space near trees are getting a lot of sunlight, but you have to envision what those spots will look like once the leaves come out. You always want to plant veggies in an area that gets about 6 to 8 hours of sun a day, so shady won’t do!
Next, you want a spot with well-drained soil. You can condition the soil by adding peat and working it in.
Below, I’m listing the earliest recommended planting dates for these parts for vegetables from March to the end of April. This was gleaned from a publication “Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky” I got free from UK Cooperative Extension Service.
Keep in mind that these are the earliest dates you COULD plant. You need to temper that information by understanding that you want the soil moist, but NOT overly wet. (You can tell by squeezing a handful of the soil. If it crumbles readily, go head and plant. If it sticks together in a ball, wait a bit until it dries out some more).
According to the Cooperative Extension (a great resource for gardeners!), the earliest you can plant your cool weather veggies is as follows:
• Pea and snow pea seeds
• Radish, rutabaga, collard and turnip seeds; rhubarb crowns; onion sets
• Beet seeds
• Asparagus crowns
• Carrot, chard, kale, kohlrabi, onion, parsley and parsnip seeds
• Leaf and Bibb lettuce seeds and heads; onion plants
• Cauliflower, Brussels sprout and broccoli plants; celery seeds
• Sweet corn seeds
• Snap bean seeds
That takes you through the month of April. Obviously, you’re going to have to wait until things warm up and there’s little or no chance of frost before you think about putting in warmer weather crops, like tomatoes, but that’s a topic for future discussion.
And, of course, you’ve still got quite a bit of time before you can put even the early vegetables in, but now’s a good time to think about what you’re going to plant and what space you’ll be using for them.
You might even take the time you have between now and when you can plant to draw up a tentative plan to decide where to put what vegetables so that when the time comes, you’ll be that much farther ahead to the game.
It might also be well to keep in mind that as winter turns toward spring, you can be alert for any opportunities to clear your potential garden space of weeds and other debris and condition the soil, if necessary, so that when Mother Nature gives the inevitable signal, you’re ready to go!
We gardeners are dreamers by nature.
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EKU wins OVC tourney
The Eastern Kentucky University Colonels are OVC champions and are headed to the Big Dance.
Hot early shooting propelled EKU to a thrilling 79-73 win over defending champion Belmont Saturday in the championship game of the OVC Tournament.
The Colonels receive the OVC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The win gave EKU it's sixth OVC Conference Tournament title.
The Colonels hit four consecutive three pointers to open the game and led by as many as 15 points in the first half.
Corey Walden led all scorers in the game with 29 points, including 10-of-11 free throws. Glenn Cosey finished with 23 points on 5-of-8 shooting on three-pointers and Tarius Johnson added 15 points and five rebounds.
Veteran certification officer fired from EKU
Accusations of cheating on an online test led to the firing of an 18-year Eastern Kentucky University employee Wednesday.
Retha Sandlin, formerly a veteran certification officer in the Burnam House for EKU’s student veterans, said the decision resulted from a misunderstanding on the part of Jaime Roberts, the house’s interim office manager.
Proposed bill takes aim at heroin problem
Proposed legislation before the Kentucky General Assembly aims to combat the state’s growing heroin problem using three strategies – education, treatment and law enforcement aid.
Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, is one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 5. The bill was passed in the Senate earlier this year, 36-1, and is waiting to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee.
New kid at the market
A three-day old black-and-white goat named Ellsa was the star Saturday morning at the new Richmond Downtown Farmers Market.
The Nubian goat mix was brought to the weekly market by Four Sisters Farm. Located off Four Mile Road in Madison County, the farm specializes in goat products.
Hundreds turn out for fishing team’s fundraiser
Madison Central High School’s bass fishing team got a boost Saturday when its first-ever Fishing Tackle Swap turned out to be a huge success.
About 500 buyers showed up to check out what the 38 vendors had to offer. At least 17 of the vendors were from outside Madison County. There were even a few boats for sale.
Pets of the Week from the Madison County Animal Shelter
The Madison County Animal Shelter is located at 1386 Richmond Road in Berea. Shelter hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Animals available for adoption can be seen from noon to close Monday through Saturday.
Feds deny giving OK to selenium standards
When lawmakers wrestled last year with new standards for releasing selenium into streams by coal mines and industry, they were assured by state officials the proposals were based on sound science and approved by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials.
Eastern students practice fire fighting in burning building
Thick barrels of smoke rolled out of the room as nearby observers could feel the fire’s heat on their faces. Furniture and drywall fueled the blaze. Flames licked the top of the door frame and the flat ceiling.
Airport planning mock disaster drill
Madison Airport officials and Eastern Kentucky University are making plans for a mock disaster drill tentatively scheduled for August.
Prior 'bad acts' to be allowed in Marcum murder trial
A Madison Circuit judge ruled Friday that prior “bad acts” of murder defendant Christina Marcum may be admitted during her upcoming trial.
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- EKU wins OVC tourney