Time to start planning your garden plot for spring

Sarah Hutt

Fellow gardeners - its March - time to start planning for spring
If you are visiting your plot to fix fences and add fencing to keep the rabbits out remember there are 1,000’s of pollinating insect eggs on the dried leaves and other debris.  If you wait until clean up April 4 to  remove them or until you are ready to plant it will give them time to hatch and move out of your way.

It is time to start your seedlings at home. Tomatoes and peppers can be started 10 weeks before the last frost.  Check the back of your seed packets to see what the recommended planting times are.  

Our last predicted FROST DATE, based on the Farmers Almanac, for Boston is estimated that the last risk of frost is between May 4-May 22.

One thing you can do is assess your soil. The diagram below is from a manual by UC Santa Cruz and demonstrates how to your your hands to perform the "squeeze test”
There's one other important reason to do the squeeze test. If that clump of soil stays solid in your hand, it could also be an indicator that you soil is too wet to till. If you're still in the midst of a snowmelt or a rainy winter, this is likely your reality. Tilling wet soil will knock the air out if it, and when it dries it will be far more compact than before. In other words, it will have the opposite affect of what you want it to!  On the other hand, if it turns to dust in your hand, it means it's too dry, and tilling will cause the same puff of dust to happen on a large scale. Aim for the crumble of moderately moist soil before preparing your garden beds.

Remember Gardeners last day to pay for your plot is March 7th - if you have any problems with paying please let us know - if you have decided to leave your plot and not return please leave your keys so we can recycle them and if you want anything in your plot now is the time to remove it.  All unclaimed plots on the 7th will be available for the Lottery March 28.

Berkeley Community Gardens
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Log Your Community Time:  cleanups@...  include: name, plot number, number of hours, description of task, and picture if you have it.
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