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Great Tips for Green Thumbs
From Kettell's Greenhouse

If you’re anything like me, you’re already dreaming up your garden, plotting out your tomato cage placement, and figuring out which vegetables you're going to can. Well, enjoy these tips from the amazing Kettell's Greenhouse when it comes to prepping for spring and choosing quality plants! Photo courtesy of Kettell's Greenhouse.


Offerings: We are open from April to October. In the spring we offer over 12,000 hanging baskets and over 30 greenhouses filled with bedding, vegetables, herbs and perennials. Since we grow the majority of our product right here, plants are strong and durable. 


Early Season Gardening: We all know March comes with varying temperatures; one day you may be in a t-shirt and the next day, snow boots. With that being said, on the warm days you should walk your property and pick up sticks. If you have annual flower beds or a garden that does not have any perennials, you can start cleaning up the area. However, if you have perennials, you may want to consider waiting until the beginning of April to remove leaves or the dead plant from its base. We can still get snow and the dead plant and fallen leaves help protect the root system.  


Many like to add new plants and we are seeing a large increase of vegetable gardens starting up.  In March it's a good time to start keeping track of the sun. When and where does it shine in our yard?  If you are a new gardener and looking to expand, knowing the sun's path will be helpful. Also, if you are a new gardener and are planning a vegetable garden, start considering where the best place will be. In the beginning of April, you can start to clean flower gardens and prepare your soil. Around the second week of April there are several vegetables that can be started: carrots, beets, kale, lettuce, onions, herbs, broccoli and cauliflower.  


Soil Preparation: We recommend taking a soil test which you can send to Penn State.  They will provide you with information to succeed in the best growing conditions.


Porch Gardening: Even without a yard you can still grow vegetables on a porch or yard in pots.  We recommend 12” to 14" pots. We offer tomatoes, basil, and herb gardens ready to just take home. Plants grow geometrically, so leave room for growth. Water is your friend; a light rain is not the same as watering your garden.  Remember that if it rains but your plants are hanging on the porch you still need to water them. 


Harvest Preservation: One of the easiest things to start off canning is tomatoes. Personally, I like using Celebrity Tomatoes which can be sliced or diced and San Marzon, which is a large Italian tomato great for sauce. The Celebrity is disease resistant, has a good taste and offers a great yield. They freeze well too. Broccoli and cauliflower are also a great crop to freeze and are an item you can plant early and harvest fast which allows you to plant something else in its place.  


Harvest Strategy: Eat fresh while you harvest.  I like to pick my garden and can what I pick.  Also remember to share! Maybe your zucchini is up before a friend or a friend doesn’t have enough space; therefore, crop sharing has always been popular and a great way to be neighborly.  


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