Laurie Garretson: Time to start the veggies | Home And Garden

Now that spring is officially here, I wouldn’t wait much longer to start your spring vegetable garden. We are already having temperatures in the 80s, and before we know it, temperatures will be in the 90s. Hot temperatures can be much more stressful for young vegetable plants than cool temperatures. This is also the time to get all the winter weeds dug up and removed from the vegetable garden area and to spread some compost on top of the soil.

Make sure newly planted trees are well staked if needed. Young trees, without a good root system, could be prone to blowing over from high winds.

T-posts make good, sturdy, long-lasting tree stakes. Use a strong wire threaded through an old section of garden hose to secure trees to the post without cutting into the trunk of the tree. Allow any newly planted trees to have some freedom to sway a little. Nature usually doesn’t want a tree to be tied so securely and wants newly planted trees to have some movement to increase new roots.

In a couple more weeks, as temperatures heat up, conditions should be good to sow Bermuda seed. Bermuda seed requires warm weather with warm soil to germinate. The soil should also be weed-free and level. Once the seeds are sown, you will need to water at least once a day until germination occurs, never allowing the soil to dry out during that time.

Are oak catkins dropping all over your yard? Maybe by the thousands? Catkins are the tassels you see dropping from your oak trees. Catkins are spent male flowers. Their job is to shed oak tree pollen that is then carried by the wind to female flowers. This is the time of the year when oak trees begin to flower and to drop the catkins all over our yards, lawn furniture, gardens, cars and anything else under the oaks. Oak catkins can be added to mulch in your flowerbeds, vegetable gardens, or added to your compost pile. If fallen catkins become thicker than half an inch in areas, it could become a problem and should be raked up.

If your pecan trees have leafed out, it’s now time to put out the trichogramma wasp. These beneficial, non-stinging, tiny wasps will get rid of pecan case bearers, which could ruin pecan crops.

Until next time, let’s all try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.