Edward's Garden Center

Forty Fort, PA


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Tips for preparing your garden for spring

Spring is in the air! The Garden Center is open and the weather for next week is looking warm and sunny. It’s time to start preparing your garden 🙂 To get your started, we have listed some activities (because they are obviously not chores for garden lovers) that will kick off your gardening season the right way.

  1. newdaysuntilspringCheck all of your raised garden bed for damage. While we didn’t have a particularly harsh winter, the wind the other night was enough to tear anything down. Make sure any wood frames are still strong and holding tight. Repair any bowed or split wood.
  2. Check your tools. Now is the time to make sure you have everything you need and it’s all in tip top shape. Purchase your new shovel and sharpen your hedge sheers. It won’t be long before you are putting them to work.
  3. Top dress your gardens with home-grown compost or purchase some manure. A well dressed garden will be a very fruitful garden in a few months.
  4. Begin your warm weather vegetable plants inside. Starting your seeds inside will give you healthier more fruitful seedlings when it is finally time to plant them outside. If you need more tips to starting some seedlings, read our post from last year on the topic: “Get spring started right now by planting seeds“.
  5. Start your weeding. As soon as the frost disappears, the weeds start to grow. Resolve to stay on top of your enemies this year….Take those weeds down.
  6. Plan a way to protect your seedlings. We all know spring weather is unpredictable. Begin planning how you will protect your little plants from the harsh winds and possible snowflakes. A tip from Gardentherapy: “Make sure you have enough cloth and plastic to protect tender plants. If a frost is predicted, just a cloth over your plants will suffice. For nights when the temps are forecasted to dip below freezing, it’s better to put a layer of cloth on first, then lay plastic on top. Condensation on the plastic will freeze and damage foliage.”
  7. Enjoy the prep! We can all be so excited to get outside and get started that we forget to enjoy our time in the garden. Try not to let the busyness get to you.

 

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Get spring started right now by planting seeds

Spring is definitely taking its time coming to NEPA this year. While the Garden Center has opened as scheduled, we know not many of you are really feeling spring fever.

There is one way to get spring started, without waiting for the weather to turn. You can get your seedlings ready.

Our great friends at Espoma sent us some tips that we wanted to pass along.

Tips for starting your seedlings before spring - Edward's Garden Center

Plant your seedlings now and in just 4 to 6 weeks you’ll be working in your garden!

1. Dream big
Choose your favorite high-quality seeds from a huge selection. Starting hard-to-find or expensive plants from seed will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

2. Stock up
Get plastic trays with holes in the bottom or a seed-starting kit as well as an organic soil starter, such as Espoma’s Organic Seed Starter. An organic soil like this is made specifically to help your seedlings grow strong, sturdy roots in a healthy, safe environment.

3. Get plantin’
Fill seed trays to within ¼” of the top and lightly water. Then, follow seed packet instructions to see how deep and far apart to plant. Cover with soil, press down and label.

4. Water wisely
Water perfectly by placing tray in a larger pan of shallow water for a few seconds or up to a couple of minutes so the water seeps up from the bottom.

5. Find the right spot
Place seeds in a warm, safe place. To warm up a spot, place a space heater nearby or place trays on top of the refrigerator.

6. Take cover and wait
Loosely cover the tray with plastic wrap, or use the cover in your seed-starting kit. Check seeds daily for moisture.

7. Spot a sprout
Once you see sprouts, remove the cover and move seeds to a sunny, south-facing window that is 65-75°F. Then, turn the container a little each day to prevent leaning seeds.

8. Boost plants
When leaves grow, add a bit of fertilizer such as Espoma’s Plant-tone. Plant-tone is an organic fertilizer, so it’s safe to use on edibles and helps plants grow bigger than ever before.

9. Strengthen seeds
Check seed packets to see when to plant after the last frost. Before planting you’ll want to harden off seedlings. Hardening off is a process that gets seeds used to the outdoors. Simply place your tray outside for a few hours a day for 7-10 days. Each day, increase their time outdoors and reduce watering.

10. Plant permanently
Once the last frost date has passed, you’re ready to plant! Gently remove plants from containers without damaging the roots. Plant in a prepared bed and mix in organic starter plant food to keep them strong, such as Bio-tone Starter Plus.

You did it! Spring is just a step away – and so are your crisp, garden-fresh veggies and fruits!

Stop in to the Garden Center for more tips and to help spring fever come over you 🙂