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KUSA - It really is time to plant cool season vegetables and flowers. With many plants, they can be seeded in the ground or in pots. Lightweight plastic pots work well if you're short on space and they can also be protected if necessary.

Cool season plants only develop well in spring. If you wait to plant them when the weather warms up, it's too late. Foothill and mountain gardeners will plant later and not worry much about heat that puts an end to these cool season crops in warmer areas.

Planting seeds is easy. Follow the directions on the seed packet. Some seeds, such as those of peas, should be planted about an inch deep. Others, such as those of lettuce, are best barely covered with soil and merely pressed into the soil.

I always soak peas overnight before planting to plump them up and hasten germination. Use a tomato cage, bamboo sticks or bare branches as support for pea vines. The tendrils will cling to the supports; even bush type peas benefit from this. Sugar snap varieties of peas are the most popular since they are delicious raw or cooked and the whole pod is edible. Read the labels carefully. Shell peas are grown to maturity and shelled when ripe for cooking.

Vegetable and herb seeds that may be planted between now and the end of the month include spinach, lettuce, kale, chard, cilantro, parsley, carrots, radish, beets, onions, turnip, broccoli and fava beans.

Flowers that may be planted now include bachelor button, love-in-a-mist, larkspur and types of poppies such as California, Shirley, corn and bread seed. These are best sown directly in the ground. They transplant poorly.

By planting now, you'll have fresh vegetables for your table in May and beds full of bright flowers.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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