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By: Tanya Begley

After mother nature’s long and much needed slumber, we are finally starting to see the tale-tell signs of her spring arrival. This is the time we look back on the last year and we start anew. With hopes for better yields, weather and growing. We re-evaluate, make our needed changes, gather our supplies, and begin the growing season with renewed purpose and vigor.

In this March 2023 edition of our blog, we will kick off our spring growing season with tips and tricks for early crops, and spring planting. We hope that you enjoy them and find them useful.

Spring Planting

“Learn the typical date of the spring’s last freeze so you can avoid the danger of setting out freeze- and frost-sensitive plants too early. The date of the last freeze varies from year to year, of course, but knowledge of typical freeze-free dates can help you reduce the risk of planting too early.In western Kentucky, the average date of the last freeze comes relatively early; in Paducah, the median date of the last freeze is April 8. In central Kentucky, the last freeze comes somewhat later; the median last freeze in Lexington comes on April 18. In eastern Kentucky, freezes tend to occur even later; the median last freeze date in Ashland is May 4.You can plant cool-season crops in the spring as soon as the soil is workable, meaning the ground is no longer frozen and the soil can be tilled. The soil should also not be so wet that it forms clumps when it’s tilled or compressed in your fist.Early crops should also be planted when the air temperature is relatively cool — between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, so the plants have time to develop before the heat of late spring and summer begins.”

Cool-Season Crops

“Cool-season crops are not vulnerable to damage from frost, and they can be planted in Kentucky even before the danger of spring frosts has passed. Cool-season crops include broccoli (Brassica oleracea (Italica group)), cabbage (Brassica oleracea (Capitata group)), lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and onions (Allium cepa).On average, the earliest planting date for cabbage and lettuce is March 15 in western Kentucky, March 25 in central Kentucky, April 1 in eastern Kentucky. The earliest planting date for broccoli plants is March 30 in the west, April 5 in the central part of the state, April 10 in the east. Onion sets can be planted as early as March 1 in the west, March 10 in central Kentucky and March 15 in the east.”

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