How To Start Spring Plants By Seed And Transplants

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Welcome back to Southwest Yard and Garden I'm John White today we're going

to be taking some letters from the mailbag and our first question is what

can I plant in this time of year and this is from John in Las Cruces and

what we're going to be looking at is cool season varieties right now this

time of year because we're still a few weeks maybe even a couple months off of

our last frost date here in the southern part of state we're looking at somewhere

around August I mean excuse me April first and so we still have a little bit

of time and some of the I just kind of picked a little bit of a variety of

stuff here but if you look at some of the vegetables as being leafy greens um

grown more for the green on them actually than the fruit more than likely

those will be a cool season vegetable so if you want to look for something that

that has more green on it and then the sure way is to go to the back of the

package and all the packages are um have several different um types of information

on one is they should be produced for the 2002 year and this one's kind of

printed on very lightly but you can see the 2002 lot 91 and so that's

telling you this is good seed current seed and then there's a lot of

information here about that particular type of plant here we're looking at

radishes and so there's a map of the United States you can kind of see where

New Mexico is on it and that color coincides over here too when you plant

so we're looking at March here which here we can actually get by, by a late

February planning and radishes will do quite well in this area so again

checking those seed packs to find what time of year those are to be planted at

and they'll say something about the plant being a cool-season plant and

that's what we want to shoot for so again these are what we want to look at

for a cool-season planting at this time of year

okay letter number two is from Jim and Jim is in T or C and he's asking he's

kind of knew the area and has gone to the nurseries and has found some plants

like lantana that looked real good in the nursery but he's worried about

bringing them outside into full exposure here during the early part of spring

late winter in the Las Cruses area so Jim what you're probably seeing, and I went

by one of the nurseries and this is a lantana and lantana loves the heat it

does quite well in the heat but it does not like cold and matter of fact it can

have some frost damage on it under freezing type temperatures so this plant

is being uh

probably forced to grow inside in a greenhouse area where it's getting

warmth and it's going to be filled out nice when our last frost date comes and

you can start putting these out but when you're in a nursery you do want to make

sure that you check with the nursery or garden center personnel to make sure

that the plant is adaptable to going outside at this time of year because a

lot of times even though they're cold hardy plants if they're kept inside a

greenhouse situation they can be kept artificially warm and put new growth on

and when they go outside you may have a 30- 40 degree drop in temperature and can

do quite a bit of damage to them so plants need to be acclimated to the area

and acclimated to the current temperatures so make sure the plants

that you get are acclimated to those outside temperatures so check with your

nursery personnel

okay our third letter is from Karen and Karen is here in Las

Cruces and she wants to know whether she should start her plants for the spring

either by seed or by transplant and Karen one of the things about seed is

that you can start your plants from seed and again we've talked about seed

packets and they give you a lot of information on it and one of the

information or part of the information on the back is what kind of spacings and stuff to plant

the plant at and how long it takes the plant to to grow and days to germination

and this one is about 10 to 14 days to germination from seed so

you're looking at a couple weeks of just waiting for the seed to come up and then

again letting the plant grow for a few weeks so it may be 8 to 12 weeks before

this particular broccoli might even have a chance of putting any edible heads on

it so if you're using a transplant and this is Brussels sprouts which is

closely related to broccoli but Brussels sprouts and the use of a transplant

usually gives you a jump of somewhere about six to eight weeks on the season

so this plant already has a root system on it and the plant is growing has got growth

on it so you've already got that jump on the season so if you don't have the room

to start seeds with then the transplant is a better way to go a little bit more

expensive but it is putting into production right away so i would go with

transplants if time and space is a constraint