Sunday, February 2, 2014

Almost that time again.

We are starting to think spring! The weather is so warm and dry, dry, dry, the fruit trees are budding, I saw a Robin the other day and the wind is blowing but the calendar reads February 2nd. Don't be fooled and remember that our average last frost date is May 1st which means the last frost usually falls somewhere between the 15th of April and the 15th of May. As of right now we are planning on opening on March 25th for our 2014 season. This will be Silver Heights Nursery's 19th year here in Silver City and we couldn't be happier about it. We will always provide you with quality plants at fair prices and give honest advice.
Plant cool season vegetables from seed. February is the month to plant, from seed, many vegetables that like cool soil to germinate. Beginning on the 15th of the month you can plant Spinach, Peas, Leeks, Onions and Carrots. Shallot and Onion Sets can also be planted then. Towards the end of the month start Beets, Swiss Chard, Leaf Lettuce, Radishes and Turnips. You will want to cover these seeds with a frost guard  fabric (remay) or floating row cover when you plant to protect the seedlings from extreme cold and birds. You can also start seeds indoors now for cool season veggies to be planted outside around March 15th. Please see January 2013 'Start seeds indoors'.

ASPARAGUS (P)                     MARCH1-APRIL30
BEANS, BUSH (S)                  MAY1-31 & JULY1-31
BEANS, POLE (S)                   MAY1-31
BEANS, LIMA (S)                  MAY1-JULY15
BEANS, PINTO (S)                MAY1-31
BEETS (S)                              MARCH1-APRIL15 & JULY15-AUGUST1
BROCCOLI (S) (P)                   MARCH15-APRIL1 & JULY1-15
CABBAGE (S) (P)                    MARCH15-31 & JULY1-15
CANTALOUPE (S) (P)             APRIL15-30
CARROTS (S)                         FEBRUARY15-APRIL 1 & JULY1-AUGUST1
CAULIFLOWER (S) (P)           MARCH15-31 & JULY1-AUGUST1
CORN, SWEET (S)                 APRIL20-JULY1
CUCUMBER (S) (P)                 APRIL15-MAY15
EGGPLANT (P)                       APRIL15- MAY15
GARLIC (Bulb)                       SEPTEMBER15-NOVEMBER15
LEEKS (S)                              FEBRUARY15-MARCH15
LETTUCE, HEAD (S) (P)         MARCH1-15
-BUTTERHEAD (S) (P)           MARCH1-31 & JULY15-AUGUST15
OKRA (S)                               APRIL15-30
ONIONS (S) (Sets)               FEBRUARY15-MARCH15 & SEPTEMBER1-31
PEAS (S)                                FEBRAURY15-APRIL15
WHITE (SP)                           APRIL1- MAY15
PUMPKIN (S)                          MAY1-15
RADISH (S)                            MARCH1-APRIL30 & SEPTEMBER1-30
SPINACH (S) (P)                     FEBRUARY15-MARCH15 & AUGUST1-30
TOMATOES (S) (P)                 APRIL15-MAY15
TURNIPS (S)                          MARCH1-APRIL15 & JULY1-AUGUST15
WATERMELON (S) (P)           APRIL20-MAY20

(S) =plant by seed; (P) = plant live transplants; (SP) =plant seed potatoes or use pieces of organic potatoes
Last frost date in the Grant County area is April 15-May 15 depending on the year and microclimate you are in.
Grant County Extension Service has more free information at 2610 N. Silver Street, Silver City (575) 388-1559.

Maintain a healthy lawn. If you haven't thought about your lawn needs for a while now would be a good time to do so. A good raking will help remove thatch build-up. Use a heavy landscape rake or a rake made specifically for dethatching and rake in all four directions. This will help get oxygen to the roots and provide space for an application of gypsum and fertilizer later in the spring. For now, after you have raked, give it a good long drink of water and the very next day you will see a difference. 

Another word on watering. WATER!

PLANT OF THE MONTH: Gazania krebsiana 'Tanager'.  We have had several customers tell us that the Gazanias we sell as warm season annuals have overwintered for them. And in a mild winter I am sure that is true but most are just zone 8 plants meaning they are only cold hardy to 30 degrees. A relatively new introduction (2003), 'Tanager' is hardy to zone 6 or 10 degrees BELOW zero and in protected areas of zone 5. This evergreen perennial has dark glossy green foliage with silvery undersides that develops a purplish tinge in winter and forms a small mound 4" tall by up to a foot wide. It blooms throughout the spring, summer and fall and ours were actually flowering on a 60 degree day in January. The daisy-like flowers are fluorescent orange and look as though they were individually painted. It is a very drought tolerant plant that does best in full sun and would look good in the front of a border, along a walkway or in a pot where the detail of the flowers can be fully appreciated. It is a Plant Select variety and we have found all of their recommendations to be very successful here.