Sunday, January 20, 2019 By: Ask A Master Gardener

Plan Now For a Spring Vegetable Garden

Planning for a Spring Vegetable Garden
Brian Jervis: Ask a Master Gardener
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Q: What suggestions do you have for those of us starting to plan for our spring gardens this year? Also, what resources are available? Lisa P., Tulsa
A: Because it’s so cold and dreary and not much fun to be outside, this is a great time to begin making your spring gardening plans for the new year.
One simple thing you can do is to review your experiences from previous years. What worked? Why did it work? What didn’t work? Why didn’t it work? What do I want to do the same and different this year?
If you are growing vegetable crops, which crops prospered? Which ones struggled? Which pests caused the most trouble? How can I better control them? Did my garden take too much of my time? Should I make some adjustments in how I water and care for my garden?
One of the things we hope will become an even more valuable resource to you than it was in the past is the sort of new Tulsa Master Gardener website ( It’s celebrating its one-year anniversary. We’ve spent a lot of time updating the interface to be more user-friendly and have uploaded an abundance of gardening resources to help you become a more successful gardener.
In our Lawn & Garden Help section, you will find information on a variety of topics, such as general landscaping, flowers, trees and shrubs, soil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, insects and butterfly gardens. You will also find sections on organic and Earth-kind practices, types of gardens, fertilizers and pesticides, pruning, composting, water conservation, etc.
If your plans for the year include a vegetable garden, we have information and videos on which varieties do well in our area, the best times to plant, garden layouts, how to plant tomatoes, etc. If your plans include flowers, we have recommendations for annuals and perennials that do well in our area.
We are fully aware there is a lot of information available on the internet about gardening, but it is sometimes hard to determine if the advice or suggestion is appropriate for our area. On our site, you will know the information you read or the instructional videos you watch will be university research-based information appropriate for the Tulsa County gardening community. Here are three of the more popular OSU Fact Sheets for your reading pleasure during these cold days. Simply Google them.
 HLA-6005 Oklahoma Garden Planning Guide
 HLA-6408 Landscape Maintenance Schedule
 HLA-6033 Raised Bed Gardening
However, our website is not the only way we can help you prepare for this new year. Our Diagnostic Center is staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday with Master Gardeners who would love to share what they know about gardening. You can call us or email your questions via the information below. We hope you have a great garden this year and would love to help.

Garden tips
  • Several early season vegetables are grown from seeds and planted as sprouts or transplants. Some examples are cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, head lettuce, onions, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Most of these take 5-7 weeks from planting indoors until ready for transplanting into the garden. Onions take a little longer to grow.
  • Of these, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce and onions sprouts should be set out from mid-February to mid-March. Plant broccoli sprouts in March. Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants need warmth and suggested planting time is mid-April, although many people take a gamble and plant earlier, depending on the weather. Look for seeds at local gardening centers or online now.
  • Even though there may be adequate moisture in the ground, it is normal for evergreen broad-leaved shrubs to appear “wilted” during extreme cold. This is rapidly reversible after the temperatures warm. This is a way some plants have in dealing with the cold.
  • Try to keep fallen leaves off newly seeded fescue. Fescue is capable of growing roots in winter unless the ground gets extremely cold. A good root system will help fescue to better tolerate the heat next summer. In order to grow roots, the grass needs sunlight.


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