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Now Is The Time To Start Planning For Spring!

Now Is The Time To Start Planning For Spring!

It’s time to start planning for spring!  There may still be snow on the ground in central Pennsylvania, but now is the time to plan your garden, order your chicks and get ready for warmer weather!

Martins Feed Mill in Coburn is central Pennsylvania’s farm store. Martins carries a variety of seeds, fertilizer, lime and garden supplies. Eliza Walton is the owner and manager at Martins. 

"After the snow melts, and before it really warms up is the perfect time to frost seed alfalfa and clovers into pastures, hay fields and food plots for deer," Walton says. "The heaving-up action of the soil when it freezes at night and then the thawing process during the day helps to work these small seeds in without the need to use a planter or drill."

Walton warns to be careful not to plant everything too early though - central Pennsylvania’s winters can sometimes stretch into early Spring.

Lot’s of people get excited for spring and plant too early.  Although it can be tempting to get started, remember that central Pennsylvania has frost danger as late as mid-May," Walton cautions. 

There are cool season crops you can get started in early April.  If you plant under hot caps or row cover, you can start in late March.  If you want some early color in your flower beds, pansies are a hearty option.

"Hold off planting most other annuals until after Mother’s Day weekend," Walton advises. "Or you might be taking another trip back to the greenhouse for more plants!”

It’s also a good time to take a soil test if you didn’t already sample your field in the fall.  This is a great way to find out what your soil is lacking and target your fertilizer and lime applications to be cost effective and do the most good for the crops.  Martins friendly staff can walk you through the soil sample process and paperwork.  Results should be back within a week and the staff can go over the report with you and help you pick the right products.

Soil tests can tell you lots of things about your soil health. Most tests results show soil pH, organic matter, and levels of the most common nutrients: phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium," Walton says. "The report will provide nutrient recommendations based on previous crop, next crop and yield goals.”

Spring is the time to re-seed all those bare spots in the lawn too!  Martins carries lawn seed mixes and straw to get you started on your yard renovation process.  They also carry weed and feed mixes as well as standard yard fertilizer blends. 

Want that award-winning lawn this summer? Walton says one key is making sure your lawn’s roots are getting the proper air and nutrients.

Aerating and de-thatching can improve the health of your turf.  Re-seed bare spots early so they can establish before the heat of summer.”

If you are looking for potting soil to start your plants early, Martins carries Promix, Coast of Maine Organic Potting Soil and Fox Farms Ocean Forrest mix, as well as peatmoss.

In the meantime, enjoy the winter weather while it lasts.  Go sledding, drink hot chocolate, maybe make a snowman with the kids.  Spring is just around the corner!

If you have a farm in central Pennsylvania, you owe it to yourself to check out Martins Feed Mill - you and your farm will be glad you did! You can reach them at (814) 349-8787.