SKIP RICHTER: It’s spring vegetable gardening time | Brazos Life

Timing is important

We are nearing the end of the season for planting cool-season veggies. There is still time to get in seeds of lettuce, spinach, beets, Swiss chard, carrots, peas (snap, English and snow), radishes and turnips. We can also set out transplants of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, bok choi, collards, kohlrabi, parsley and onions now, but don’t delay.

It is also time to plant potatoes. Cut the potatoes into egg-sized pieces with at least one eye each. Dust the cut surfaces with sulfur and set them on a wire screen to “heal over” for 2-3 days. This reduces losses from fresh-cut potatoes decaying in the soil.

Warm-season veggies like beans, squash, tomatoes and peppers go in after the average last frost date, so early March is a good time to plant them out in the garden. Don’t delay too long with these crops, either, or summer will arrive to minimize the harvest.

Check out our new Vegetable Garden Planting Dates chart, which provides both ideal and marginal planting times for 40 vegetables as well as our average first and last freeze dates.

Give ’em a boost

New transplants really respond to a dose of liquid fertilizer at planting. Synthetic soluble fertilizers or natural ones like fish emulsion and seaweed provide a quick start to young transplants. Mix according to label instructions, and give each transplant a cup or two of solution to water them in at planting and again a week later. Avoid the temptation to mix the solution stronger than the label directs.