Contented Acres Produce

  (Gustine, California)
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Home Gardens

Home gardening is making a big comeback and I know that many of my good customers are growing some of their veggies at home. If you're gardening in my area you should be able to grow the same things I do on a smaller scale. But timing is really important!

If you want to start your own plants from seed, now is the time for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant to be sown in a cold frame or a sunny window. The plants can take six weeks or more to be ready for transplanting outside, so an early start is a big help. For faster germination, these seeds like about 75F, but they will germinate at lower temperatures.

Meanwhile, prepare your garden soil while there's a little moisture in it. If it sticks to your shovel it's too wet, but waiting too long makes the digging difficult. Try to bury your shovelhead, working the soil at least to that depth. Then work good compost or manure into the loosened soil.

While your seeds grow in the greenhouse, these organic additions will get your soil food web working. Till thesoil again once or twice between now and transplant time to kill the weeds that  sprout.

Can't wait until summer to enjoy the fruits of your labor? Short season crops like radishes, arugula and baby greens can be sowed directly in the garden. Beets and turnips love the lengthening days of spring and will form roots as the days grow warmer. Snap peas or shelling peas can  also be sown in the garden now and harvested before the heat arrives.

We'll still have some stormy weather in March and April, but if you take advantage of the sunny days in between, you can grow a spring garden, and be ready when summer comes along.

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