Your success in gardening this year will depend, to a large extent, upon careful planning and preparation. Experienced gardeners know this and will have a plan, even though it may be only a mental picture. Most home gardeners have already been looking over seed catalogs and many have ordered seeds, fertilizers, and supplies. You'll find them also in hardware and garden supply stores, looking over tool and equipment displays, looking for new ideas for saving work and doing a better job.

Gardeners who like to grow their own plants may not save themselves much money, but they can e reasonably .sure of having the plants they wish at the time they plant them. They know the history of the plant and can take their awn precautions against bringing disease into the garden along with the plants.


Whenever soil is either too acid or too alkaline, other plant foods are not readily available and plants may show deficiency signs.

Here are some steps to follow in gardening:

1. Get started early and have a definite plan.

2. Have a soil test made. Soil test kits are available at your county agent's office.

3. Use lime, fertilizer, and organic matter if test shows they are needed.

4. Use adapted varieties. Where ornamentals are concerned, check on hardiness.

5. Treat seeds for disease control or get disease free plants.

6. Plant according to season, hardy plants early, tender plants after danger of frost is over.

7. Follow through on care after planting with cultivation, weed control, and irrigation, if needed.

8. Plan your garden for use. It is possible to have fresh vegetables and flowers for cutting and an interesting garden nearly the year round by planning and careful selection.

Here are some things you can do now:

Plant onion sets, spinach, lettuce and early peas out of doors. Start tender plants such as tomatoes and peppers in hotbed or window box. Transfer to cold - frame later.

Sow flower seeds in window boxes or in coldframes. Remember some do not transplant well. All kinds of ornamental shrubs, including roses, should be planted as soon as possible. Old neglected shrubs can be given a renovation now. Old wood which will not flower well should be cut out. Early spring flowering shrubs are to be again primed after flowering.


Small fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, and currants are more satisfactory for the home gardener than tree fruits. The require less spraying and occupy less space. It is a mistake to try to use fruit trees for shade. They require too much spraying and if this is neglected, the rotting fruit attracts flies and wasps. If you have an uncontrollable urge to grow apples, try dwarf trees. They are small enough to spray with a small sprayer.


Much good lawn seed is often wasted in spring seeding of new lawns or trying to patch up old lawns. Most lawns suffer either from starvation and neglect or the the other extreme of pampering. Many lawns are fertilized too much at the wrong time, cut too short and sprinkled too often. Your lawn will do best if given juts enough attention at the right time and, at other times, intelligently neglected. Don't fertilize too heavily in early spring; don't cut shorter than one and a half inches; don't sprinkle unless there s a real drought, and don't let the grass get higher than three inches before cutting.

Patch up the bare areas with rye grass this spring, plan to control weeds, including crabgrass this summer and postpone the renovation job until late summer or early fall. Soil tests are also helpful here to determine fertilizer needs.


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