Early Spring Challenges For The Gardener

garden+cage+developer+paul+mcmichael
Early Spring normally excites most gardeners with the prospects of growing the many favorites from the vegetable garden and the flower garden. Planting sets, which are young plants started in greenhouses, and seeds for the garden can require a fair amount of time depending on the size of the garden. Another element that always need to be factored in is the initial cost of everything that is to be planted. As your time and your money are valuable, there is always some element of risk when growing a garden. Examples are: damage from wildlife, a late freeze or frost, and insects. These are all very manageable problems. Protecting your investment has never been easier!
 Let’s first discuss the risk of damage from wildlife. In most cases today, gardeners are defending against wildlife with 8′ tall fencing or the periodic application of toxic chemicals. The benefits are that in most cases these methods do work. However, the downsides are that 8′ tall fencing is expensive to purchase and install. It is usually considered permanent, thus becoming a maintenance issue and usually not attractive in an otherwise beautiful garden setting. I recently spoke with a gardener that just had one of these fences installed. He mentioned that it cost him over $1,500 to protect a 12′ x 20′ area. The access gate alone had a cost $250. It also can become an eyesore and a questionable expense when working with raised beds. I don’t know of any gardener that would want an 8′ fence around their 4′ x 8′ raised bed. The periodic application of toxic chemicals is an alternative. However, it’s certainly not a “GREEN” approach and can be costly. BTW, these applications are normally on a regular basis throughout the entire growing season.
  Thankfully, Gardeners now have a “GREEN”, affordable, “easy to use” alternative that requires no fencing or toxic chemicals. Yes, it sounds too good to be true.
  Allow me to introduce GARDEN COMMANDER garden products. GARDEN COMMANDER
 is a small company based in Northern Virginia that is helping gardeners all over the country by offering an exclusive and unique product line allowing gardeners the ease of protecting their gardens without fencing or chemicals. BTW, GARDEN COMMANDER is a “GREEN” product!
  The GARDEN COMMANDER system has many benefits that go beyond wildlife protection, by also offering a means of protection from the other 2 risk factors mentioned earlier. The 4′ sections or “frames” that make up the GARDEN COMMANDER system also act as structural supports for a frost cloth to be applied when low temperatures threaten. These sections can also be covered with clear 4 mil. plastic sheathing to create the perfect “mini” greenhouse if temperatures dip below 32 degrees. When insects become a threat, again the sections offer as a support for a netting or mesh or be applied. The size of the openings of the netting or mesh will depend on the size of the insect that is threatening.
  Your investment of time and money can now be EASILY protected from the time you plant your sets, and the seedlings begin to emerge from the Earth.
  Gardening just got a lot easier!!
  Please visit us at: www.gardencommander.com for a full and informative explanation.

EARLY SPRING VEGETABLES

  EARLY SPRING VEGETABLES
Protecting garden plants from an early frost
Garden Commander row covers being used in early spring to protect young vulnerable plants during a cold spell last year.
  Normally by March, many gardeners are beginning to plan for the planting season.
Though technically it’s still Winter, there are a number of vegetables that can be started in March and can withstand an overnight light freeze or frost.
  Onions are usually a favorite in many gardens and one of the most resilient vegetables when it comes to surviving any late Winter weather. Onion bulbs can be planted as soon as the soil has been prepared and in a “seedbed” state. When planting, I suggest placing the bulbs about 4″ apart, as they will need this room for expansion as they grow. Though they do well in cold weather, they thrive on the hot Summer days ahead and should be harvested no later than August 1st.
  Potatoes are another garden favorite that can be planted early and withstand a light freeze or frost.They are best to be planted as cuts from “Seed Potatoes.” Seed Potatoes are potatoes that have been stored over the Winter specifically for the purpose of planting. It is at this time, that they are typically found to have reached the point of beginning to form “eyes,” or small voluntary shoots growing from the potato. Before planting, these potatoes should be cut into 2 -3 pieces, each piece having one or two “eyes.” It is these pieces, with the eyes, that are to be planted. I recommend planting the pieces about 12″-15″ apart. This will allow for ample growing room, as each piece planted should produce an average of 6-8 potatoes.
  Broccoli and Cabbage are also early Spring favorites. Normally, these varieties are started from seed in greenhouses and offered in individual pots making their success rate of survival much higher. Gardeners refer to these as “sets.” Sets, as described above, are found at most garden centers and seed supply stores in early Spring. When planting these sets, I recommend spacing of 12″ – 18″ for the Broccoli and 18″ – 24″ for the Cabbage, as the plants will require this much area to reach full maturity.
  Early vegetables that can be planted from seed are: Kale, Leaf Lettuce, Spinach, Radishes, and Peas. All are resilient to frost, however, I do suggest covering these particular varieties when a freeze is predicted, with the exception of Kale. Kale is exceptionally hearty and normally withstands freezing temperatures.
  Once the freeze and frost season has passed, gardeners are usually quick to plant the rest of the garden to take advantage of a full growing season. Though it may be rare, there are times when an unexpected late frost or freeze can threaten the garden. Times like these require the additional effort of covering the small plants overnight for protection. It is important to remember that when covering the vulnerable plants, that the material used does not touch the plants if possible. This can make the process a little more challenging, however, using row covers make the task much easier and cuts the time spent in half.
  The most practical and cost effective row covers on the market today are offered by Garden Commander garden products. These row covers also serve many other purposes, most importantly, protection from destructive wildlife, especially deer. Garden Commander products are offered online, and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.A.
   Please take a look. We can help!!
   HAPPY GARDENING!