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Beginning Your Plants from Seeds, Start Indoors Now-Late Winter Garden Prep

By: Hal Jones

Ok, so it’s frigid cold out in the morning and the forecast calls for nights with frost, don’t let that keep you from beginning your seedlings inside. Last week we purchased a few of the Seed Starter Kits from Lowe’s and we started our heirloom tomatoes, our purple Tomatillos and lemon basil plants from seed.  This year I splurged and got one of those starter kits with the 10 day watering feature. Look for the Burpee logo at Lowe’s Garden Center and the kit sells for 19.95.    With the seeds placed in their little starter pods, it’s also time to fire up the tiller, or in the case of the suburban garden, charge up the Husqvarna 36 Volt battery for my cordless tiller.  The TB 1000 by Husqvarna is a pleasure to use on smaller garden areas. We also have the Mantis tillers for the smaller plots, but as with most two cycle motors that weren’t drained of gas during the winter, their carburetors won’t be too happy when I pull them out of storage.  Kudos to Troy-Bilt, my CRT-Pro with the Honda engine still performs like a champ after five years of hard use.  I always remember to either drain or stabilize the Troy Bilt before storing it, and I always neglect to do the same to the Mantis, but that is because the Mantis tillers aren’t mine. I just have to be the good son and start them each time they are used.  Frankly, the Husqvarna TB-1000 seems very attractive with its push button and run feature.  By breaking up the soil  six weeks before planting, here in the deep south, this allows the late winter rains to really work their way deep into the soil. Our rains this time of the year are often the very heavy and quick shower causing much of the water to be lost to run-off.

Other late winter yard tasks are getting those stumps removed from both the Birmingham house and the lake houses I take care of.  Stump removal is no fun, but using a stump grinder is the ticket to getting it done with the least amount of pain.  I cut eight holly trees down to open up a garden space below the game room.  When the house was first purchased, the hollies were small shrubs, but over the years took over the area. So for the first time in years I will be planting an herb garden in that area if I can get the stumps removed. So consider this your notice to go ahead and start your seeds now and save some money by not having to buy seedlings.

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