Local garden center says to practice patience before planting crops and flowers
A local garden center says Connecticut residents are eager to get their gardens started now that spring has finally arrived, but practicing patience before planting is the best bet for success.
Lee Ganim, owner of Ganim's Garden Center, says soil temperatures need to become much warmer before planting certain crops.
"Everybody wants tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, but it's just not the time," Ganim says.
Ganim says soil temperatures need to be up over 70 degrees to ensure successful growing of those crops.
Instead, he says, lettuces, brassicas, cabbages, and kales are all hearty cold-growing plants that can be planted now.
Ganim says every yard is a little different and that those looking to get the most out of their gardens this summer should get their soil tested.
Ganim recommends people start things off by getting a test of the attributes of their soil, which measures trace minerals, nutrients, and Ph for acidity and alkaline levels.
Soil tests determine if soil needs to be amended in order to accommodate certain crops and flowers.
Blueberries, strawberries and even rose bushes prefer much more acidic soil compared to broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbages, and kale, which thrive in alkaline soil.
A good rule of thumb for when to direct sow crops in the ground or when to plant flowers outside in the spring is when the forsythia bush starts to flower.
The bright, yellow-colored foliage fully blooms when the soil temperature is warm enough.
"With nature, you can't be ahead of the game, you have to play the rules, you have to go by the rules, and there are certain things you just shouldn't do at certain times," Ganim says.