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Week of April 29, 2021

Spring is a great time to start planting (zones 7 and up) in the garden but the weather can be very unpredictable so you don’t want to jump into direct seeding your warm weather seeds until conditions are right. Two important tools to have on hand in the spring is a soil thermometer and some floating row cover for the cold temperatures that warm-season seedlings do not favor. Most common warm season seeds that are direct seeded are beans, corn, cucumber, melons, okra, pumpkins, squash. These seeds grow fast and do not need to be started ahead of time, unless you live in a region with very short growing season. For information about soil temperature, see the back of your seed packs. If you live in a region that stays cool, beets, carrots, radishes and greens can also be direct seeded. In general, if the soil is 70°F, these seeds will germinate. If you soil has not warmed up enough, you can put down a plastic mulch to speed up warming the soil. Watch the nighttime temperature as well.  If it is forecast to dip below 45°F, then you will want to cover your seedlings with a floating row cover such as Agribon. This will give just enough protection for the tender seedlings.