As we continue to move toward spring, vegetable garden producers have started getting ready for this year’s plantings. Gardeners will start planting cool-season crops within a month and warm season crop plantings won’t be far behind. No matter the type of garden, all gardeners should strive to avoid a few common garden mistakes:

• Planting too closely, which prevents walking or working in the garden.

• Placing fertilizer directly in contact with plant roots or seeds.

• Cultivating too deeply, resulting in injury to plant roots.

• Depending on varieties not recommended for your area; however, do try new releases.

• Watering frequently or excessively so that the soil is always wet and soggy.

• Allowing weeds to grow large before elimination.

• Applying chemicals or pesticides in a haphazard manner, without reading label directions or proper mixing.

• Storing leftover diluted chemicals.

Planting dates for cool-season crops are from Feb. 15 to March 10. Plant crops such as beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, head lettuce, leaf lettuce, onions, green peas, Irish potatoes, spinach and turnips. For a complete list of cool and warm season planting dates, check out OSU Extension Fact Sheet HLA-6004 Oklahoma Garden Planning Guide, available at your local extension office.

David Cantrell is the Extension Agriculture Educator for the Pittsburg County Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Contact him by phone at 423-4120, or by e-mailing david.cantrell@

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