• Last modified 869 days ago (May 3, 2018)


Spring gardens have a slow start

Staff writer

Many area gardens still look quite bare because of the cold, windy spring. Early season vegetables like lettuce and peas have had a tough time surviving. As late as a week and a half ago, nighttime temperatures were close to freezing, keeping the soil cold.

Don Hodson of Marion said garlic he planted in February is doing well, but even his radishes, which are usually cold hardy, froze during a cold spell and had to be replanted.

Some people, like Darlene Carlson of Lincolnville, start their plants in greenhouses. They can wait until the weather is right to set them out. She said she plans to wait until May 5 or 10 to set out warm-season vegetables. Lettuce and kale are doing OK.

Jerry Dieter of Marion has a small garden. Everything is getting a late start. He said the “horribly dry” weather kept him from planting potatoes like he usually does on St. Patrick’s Day. He got them planted last week and wonders how they will turn out.

Dieter said asparagus has been slow in coming up. The first few spears that popped out of the ground froze during a cold spell. He got his first cutting last week.

He also has a small orchard of dwarf trees. Apricot blossoms froze, but apple trees just now are starting to blossom, he said. They normally are done blossoming by now. A grape vine is just starting to leaf out.

Dieter had five rhubarb plants. He lost two to the drought, and the three remaining plants are shorter than usual.

He lives on the south edge of Marion, so deer can be a problem. He avoids planting early season vegetables.

“They love green vegetables like peas,” he said, “but they don’t like tomatoes or cucumbers.”

He plans to plant tomatoes in a week or so, after the soil is warm.

With temperatures forecast to be in the 50s at night, gardening may be returning to normal.

Last modified May 3, 2018