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Burnett: Excitement of spring in the air
Can you smell it? You don’t have to be able to see or hear to know that spring is just around the corner.
I smell spring the moment I go outside. The inside of my vehicle smells different as the sun heats it up like a greenhouse.
And there are many things you can plant right away that will benefit from the early start to spring.
If you like onions, then you’ll love the fact that they are the one of the easiest crops to grow in the Okanagan.
If this is your first attempt at gardening, then onions will produce the results that will urge you on to more.
Onions need time to grow so getting them planted early is important.
And if you wish to have a good crop, one concern you don’t have to worry about is frost because onions are tough as nails.
There are many members of the onion family, such as onion sets which will produce large cooking onions that store well.
The variety seen the most is Stuttgart, which is yellow and commonly known as Dutch sets.
But there are others including the white and red. Popular for as long as I can remember as well are the multipliers.
Plant a row of these babies and you can harvest green onions all season long while letting some grow into delicious onions for cooking and salads.
Spanish onions are generally started from seed early in the season and transplanted outside in late March to late April.
The Riverside and other varieties are available in packs at this time of the year and the Walla Walla’s are found in bundles of bare root plants.
If you haven’t yet cooked with shallots, you are missing out on a great, distinctive, mild flavour.
Easy to grow, once you plant shallots in your garden you shouldn’t have to ever again as they will naturally return every year.
Here is another crop that once planted keeps coming back each year.
Leeks can be harvested continually from early spring to late fall in the Okanagan and are a wonderful addition to soups and salads.
Just don’t take any with you when you go fishing, as you wouldn’t want a “leek” in the boat!
This is absolutely my favourite plant to grow in the garden.
We use a lot of it so I’m glad it doesn’t take too much room and is really easy to grow.
There are several varieties to choose from and although it can be successfully planted in early spring it does best if planted in the fall.
Along with the onion family ,there are other plants that are best if planted early such as garden peas.
Peas are a cool weather crop and by the time the heat of summer hits they are usually done in.
Don’t forget the Brassica family including cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi.
By getting these planted early you will avoid the aphids and cabbage worm.