Magazine article Sunset

Your Checklist

Magazine article Sunset

Your Checklist

Article excerpt

PLANT

Start tomato seeds indoors for seedlings to plant outdoors in April. Along the coast, select seeds of cold-tolerant varieties that ripen in less than 70 days, like 'Glacier', 'Northern Delight', 'Scotia', and 'Stupice'. All are available from Territorial Seed Company (territorialseed.com).

For striking silver foliage, plant a cardoon. Although the Mediterranean native is closely related to an artichoke, its stalk, rather than bud, is the choice edible part. Choose a spot for it in your garden with full sun and rich soil.

Tuck cool-season flowering annuals, including nemesia, pansy, and viola, into garden beds for instant cold-hardy color.

For fragrant blooms by spring, sow sweet peas directly into the ground. Choose a spot in full sun, planting seeds 1 inch deep and 2 to 3 inches apart. We're suckers for large-blossomed 'April in Paris', extra-perfumed 'Cupani's Original', and knee-high 'Jack & Jill'. Seeds are available from Renee's Garden (reneesgarden.com).

HARVEST

Pick the outer leaves of collards, kale, mizuna, and mustard to add to winter soups. Snip young, tender leaves from the center of each plant to eat raw or braise lightly.

MAINTAIN

Eliminate weed seedlings with a scuffle hoe as soon as they sprout. Discard them in the green-waste bin or add to the compost pile so long as they haven't gone to seed. Mulch freshly hoed garden beds with bark or straw to discourage new weeds from sprouting. …

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