Planting tips for Memorial Weekend

Advice from local experts about starting a garden and growing your own food.

Posted: May 18, 2020 6:27 PM

The final frost looks to be over for the Mohawk Valley, but some plants do better in the cold than others. We went to Chester's Flowers in Utica to learn more.

With coronavirus keeping many at home, starting a garden and growing your own food doesn't sound like a bad idea. Don't know where to start? The soil would be the first step. The Co-Owner of Chester's Flower Shop and Greenhouses, Mr. Bill Waszkiewicz, told us "Well it's important to definitely loosen up the soil. You can use a tiller if you have one, or a pitchfork, or a shovel. Get any weeds and any grassy anything that's growing in there already, kind of free of that."

You should make sure the space is right too. We spoke with a horticulture expert about where to plant. Mrs. Holly Wise told us "Make sure your garden's near a water source so you're not carrying buckets of water if it get's dry for quite a ways from your house. And you want a good location for your garden. At least 6 hours of sunlight.

If you're just starting a garden for the first time, here's some wise words of advice. Mrs. Holly Wise says "It's better to start small if you're a first timer. You don't want to get overwhelmed either. We have a lot of good resources right on our website. We also have a horticultural hotline you can leave your questions and we'll get back to you."

Some good news to pass along too. The Mohawk Valley looks like it is past it's final frost date of May 15th. The record latest frost is June 7th at 30 degrees set in 1889. The second latest is June 1st at 31 degrees set in 1945. These records haven't been broken in a very long time, which means you should be in the clear for planting this weekend.

Wishing you the best of luck with your garden and I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend. 

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