Plant Spring Seedlings Now

OSU Extension Service Urban Horticulturist Weston Miller showed Helen how to jump-start spring by sprouting seeds indoors.

• Use a soil thermometer to determine the right time to plant.  Cool season crop seeds germinate quickly and transplants start growing rapidly when the soil temperature is about 50 degrees F, which usually occurs in late March – Early April.  That is a great time to seed peas, carrots, beets, greens and potatoes and to transplant crops like lettuce, broccoli, and chard.
• For potatoes, don't plant potatoes from the grocery store! Buy certified disease-resistant seed potatoes at a garden center.  Cut the potatoes into 1/4s and let sit for 24 hours before you plant so that the outside of the potato hardens slightly. Dig a trench down the length of the row, plant the potato pieces 12"-15" in the trench and cover with 2" of soil.  As the potato plants grow, use the extra soil to bury the stem, called hilling, to increase the production of tubers.  Or, use a potato tower!
• When soil temperatures reach 60 degrees F, which usually occurs mid-May – Early June in Western Oregon, that is the time to seed warm season crops like beans and corn and to transplant tomatoes and peppers and other sun lovers.

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