By GWEN SISSON
Tom Cathcart is preparing his plot at the Starkville Community Garden for the Spring.
He has planted broccoli from transplants he bought, spinach seed that he soaked overnight, and radishes, Romaine lettuce, and mustard greens.
Cathcart said it is best to lightly water a freshly planted garden every three days it does not rain until the seed germinate. He said for spring crops, water every week it does not rain.
Starkville Parks and Recreation Commissioner Pete Melby said Spring vegetable gardens can be planted in February and March in much of the southeast.
“In Starkville plant that spring crop garden from the first of February through the end of March,” Melby said.
Melby said crops that can handle the cooler early spring days include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Swiss chard, endive, and lettuces such as black-seeded Simpson, bibb, Romaine, and red sails. All kinds of greens can be planted including mustard and turnip greens. Melby said not to forget the green and bulb onions, white potatoes, radishes, spinach, turnips, and acorn squash.
“Be careful about planting too late in the spring since you don’t want to interfere with the summer garden which is planted beginning in the middle of April,” Melby said. “Crops such as mustard greens and radishes, which take about 20-30 days to make, can be planted in late spring and make before beginning a summer garden.”
The yearly rental cost for a 16 square foot raised bed is $20 and the 36 square foot bed is $30 per year.
Matthew Rye, Starkville Parks and Recreation Director says, residents interested in becoming a community gardener, can email him firstname.lastname@example.org  or call the Sportsplex office at 323-2294.