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Old 01-01-2011, 06:06 PM
 
1,759 posts, read 1,756,703 times
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This is my first spring in NoVa and I cannot wait to get planting! Of course I know I still have a few months yet, but I am wondering, when you do usually plant out your pansies? Is late-Feb. too early? (in the ground, I mean, not containers)

Will peas be ok in the garden starting in early March, usually?

Also, when do you put out your tomato plants, geraniums, and other similar annuals?
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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Pansies usually make it through the winter here. I'd double check with the garden center, but I believe you can plant them now if you wish (although the ground may be too hard to dig).

Daffodils and the like start coming out in mid March. Most trees leaf out in early-mid April. I'd wait until May to plant tender annuals such as geraniums. You might be ok planting them in April, but you never know when we'll get a late frost--so better to just wait until May. I don't know about peas.

You can call Merrifield Garden Center with any questions you have. They can tell you the best times to plant anything you can imagine. They always happy to help you--even if you don't buy anything from them. Also, their web site has tons of info and their tv show on TBD is excellent for people new to this area. It's at 8 am on Saturdays.
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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Merrifield is wonderful! We've been using them since we moved here in the fall. I will def. look for pansies now, thanks! Do critters like them, by any chance?
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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I'm not sure, but I notice our HOA puts netting over their pansy beds so my guess is rabbits nibble at them. I don't think they do a huge amount of damage, though--my HOA doesn't bother with plants that have to be replaced often or look bad because they get eaten right away. They're fairly practical about that sort of thing.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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If you have lots of questions, now is a fantastic time to talk to Dave at the MGC help desk. There's hardly anyone asking questions in January, so he can spend a really long time with you. I've taken long lists of questions and gotten the most amazing help from him. Also, if you have spare time they have excellent free classes. The pruning class and lawn care calsses, in particular, are very helpful.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Woodbridge
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I am starting to plan my garden as well. Peas wll do well in the early spring. I also plant lettuce and spinach in the early spring. Last year I had a great yield.
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Orange Hunt Estates, W. Springfield
628 posts, read 1,728,183 times
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All good comments. Regarding spinach, try planting in the early fall for some late fall harvest but, even better, it establishes a good root system and survives winter, so you'll get a vigorous early spring crop before the bugs start munching and the heat causes the spinach to bolt. Over-seeding lawns should be done the same way. A word of caution: The garden centers will have plants for sale early in the spring. Concurrently, we will get some early warm days. These will combine to invigorate some to start planting warm weather vegetation before perhaps a later cold snap and heavy frost might occur. I've had one occasion years ago here when the daffodils bloomed only to be killed by a hard freeze. Likewise, I've had tulips follow the daffodils only to last shorter than normal due to an uncommon spring heat wave. There's nothing you can do about bulb plants if Mother Nature strikes uncharacteristically, but you can resist the urge to plant annuals too early. Of course, you can do everything correctly only to have a strong hail storm rip everything to shreds!
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:43 PM
 
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Thank you for all the great input!

As for peas, when would be a good time to direct sow into the ground? Late Feb? Early Mar? My instinct says late-Feb with a cover at night should be okay but I wanted to check w/ those who have experience in this area.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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LOL I'm not ready to start thinking about spring garden work yet. I'm still raking up leaves!
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