Sunday, March 1, 2009

Heads Up! Spring Veggies and Fruits are In!

I notice that the early spring vegetable plants are in at the garden centers - cabbage, greens, broccoli, onion sets. Fruit trees and fruit plants are also available, both potted and bare-root. This week will have been great for those tiny veggie plants in their six- or nine-packs -- get them before the weather warms up next week because the garden centers do NOT keep them watered. They dry out instantly and just a few days of stress will set the plants back for the whole season. Ditto bare-root stock.

Word to the wise - before you buy fruit plants, check to make sure that the varieties being offered actually do well in this area. Most of the Big Box garden departments have a regional buyer but that "region" may be all of the state or even all of the southeast. Consequently, you will generally find the main two or three "known" varieties - not those that actually flourish here. I'd like to say that the locally-owned garden centers are better about tailoring their stock to the area but I've seen that it's often not true. If you are not sure about a variety you see for sale, check over at the Useful Gardens Gardeners' Group at for suggestions.

McDonald's Garden Center on Independence Blvd in VA Beach generally has a nice selection of fruit plants, including figs and asian persimmons - always worth a look. As with all the garden centers, if you make it clear that there are interested customers, they will increase the % of edible plants they provide so don't be shy about asking!
Enjoy the snow and wait for the warmup,

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