Late with seed starting this year? Or did you start a month or so ago? Are you a bit worried about how the cold will affect the success of your garden this year?
Worry all we want, we can’t do much about the weather. But there are a few things we can do to give our plants and gardens a great chance for success in spite of the weather.
#1. Use all the information you have in choosing when to start seed and set out seedlings.
- Remember that frost-free dates are just guidelines and an average of what’s taken place in past years. There’s no way they can tell you for sure about this year.
- Watch what’s going on in current weather forecasts. Check the Farmer’s Almanac as well. They’re pretty accurate about the various weather events, although they may not hit the precise day it’ll take place. (Go here and just select your zone from the drop down box.)
- And if you’ve gardened for a long time, go by the inner sense that long-time gardeners develop over time.
For example: I usually start warm weather crops like tomatoes etc. March 15th , but this year I’ve opted to start them the first of April. Probably I’ll be right on nature’s schedule.
If you have a set up to grow seedlings under lights inside, then you probably already have your plants growing. But if you don’t, you’ll still do just fine to start now. Remember, things grow when conditions are right. When they are right, you can hardly hold plants back.
- And just in case we have a late frost, be prepared in advance to protect your crops that might be set back by frost or freeze.
To Give You an Idea of What I’m Doing This Year:
I’m late with most things according to calendar time. But with what nature is indicating, I’ll bet I’m right on schedule.
I’ve already told you about starting my warm weather crops two weeks later. Here are some other things I’m doing differently:
- I usually start transplanting onions the last of February and into early March. This year, I just started last week! (And although I wish I had been able to get them in a couple of weeks prior to that, I think they’ll do just fine.)
- Planted peas March 10th. (Oddly, that’s earlier than when I usually plant peas.)
- I usually start lettuce in January or February. This year I started several varieties March 2nd. As soon as the seed was up, I put the jugs outside and the plants look great. I’ve already started to transplant to the garden.
- Same with Hakurei turnips, Russian Kale, bunching onions, and Pak Choy.
#2. Have backup ready in case you make the wrong call. (And we all do from time to time.)
If you start seedlings early, start them late as well. There’s always the possibility that some won’t make it no matter when you start them. All kinds of variables can cause that. Some are not easily noticed and you may never know exactly what it was that caused something to fail.
Succession planting of seeds as well as transplants can do a lot to ensure your having bumper crops.
#3. Diversity is important in every aspect of gardening.
Monoculture pretty much works against the principles of nature. So try to have different varieties of different crops. Every variety will bring a different characteristic to the garden even if it’s slight. It might be just enough of a difference to mean the success of a crop rather than its failure.
If you use every bit of information you have to help you make decisions, have backup ready in case of a wrong call, and use the principle of diversity, your garden should be just as much of a success this year as in any other.
Organic gardening is easy, effective, and efficient. And it’s a lot healthier.
All content including photos are copyright by TendingMyGarden.com. All rights reserved.