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Slightly Ridiculous Gardening Questions  RSS feed

 
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This is a thread for questions that we feel kind of ridiculous asking.  Everybody please join in!  I'll start.




Q:  What is "spring?"
When they say that it's best to plant this or that in the spring, what exactly do they mean?  Spring is a full 3 months long, and typical conditions on March 20 are very different than those on June 21.  I'm in central NJ on the border of zones 6 and 7.  My last frost date is supposed to be between May 11 and May 20.  Is it too late to plant a fig tree?  Does it matter that it's been way wetter and colder than usual?


Q:  What is "fall?"
Same as above but in reverse.  Last frost date is between Oct. 11 and Oct. 20.
 
gardener
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Spring: the point in which my cold tolerant seeds/seedlings hit a growth curve great enough to harvest.

Summer: the point in which my cold tolerant crops start to bolt and my cold intolerant seeds can be planted and quickly germinated.

Fall: the point in which it becomes uncomfortable to just hang out outside, but it's not too cold for plants to grow and live, though some have slowed growth curves.

Winter: the time in which plant growth is pretty well null.
 
Amit Enventres
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Fig trees are warm loving trees and can be planted any time it has enough time to establish a good root system. The root system establishment does depend on your soil. In short, fig tree planting ok.
 
master pollinator
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Our best fruit tree planting is the Fall or even Winter, but I have been planting Fig tree rooted cuttings this Spring. They are doing exceptionally well.



 
pollinator
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Trees can be planted anytime. In winter its generally cheaper as you can get bare root trees vs more expensive potted trees.  Recent years it has been said that fall planting is best because the roots will keep growing and it will have better growth in spring as a result.

Anytime is fine as long as you keep it watered. I recently had to dig up established 3 year fruit trees due to some earthworks. Sometimes you don't have a choice.
 
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Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
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It’s important to note that the ‘Four Season’ concept is simply part of inherited culture, which may apply to some areas but, in general, doesn’t apply in most. For example, our Aboriginals are correct in saying we have about (6) seasons rather than the typical European (4) – this has been somewhat validated by our National Bureau of Meteorology. Regardless, although our local climates are different, there’s still some duties that are performed universally each 'season':

Summer: in the tropics, this is where Satan goes for a holiday! Hot, steamy and generally uncomfortable 24/7, A large proportion of a gardeners times is spent trying to protect annuals from drying out and blowing away. No new plantings other than hardy ones or in purposely made microclimates. Although it is the traditional ‘wet season’, it depends on the local geography e.g. rain-shadow caused by mountain ranges, etc, so still need to ensure water is always available for plants and especially domestic animals and wildlife.

Best time to compost and relax in the shade with a few beers and a bucket of prawns!

Autumn: we don't have a lot of deciduous trees, so leaves don't 'fall' like elsewhere. Because the ground is still warm, and the weather now generally comfortable, it’s the best time to plant trees for a head start and maybe get bonus crops before Winter sets in.

After the hot and humid Summer, lots of time spent outside. For us it’s prime BBQ season.

Winter: variable weather patterns. For gardeners, important to note lower soil temperatures - nutrient availability for some plants. Best time to do maintenance work around the yard and clean out that BBQ - keep wood ashes for the potatoes and tomatoes.

Late Winter useful for propagation and growing seedlings.

Spring: much like Autumn but typically warmer days and warming nights. Hardening up seedlings ready for transplanting when the soil warms – watch out though, temperatures can escalate quickly.

Test fire that BBQ just in case!


For general interest, here's the (6) season calendars for our continent:

Indigenous Weather Knowledge


It would be interesting to know if your native peoples have similar calendars.

 
Elizabeth Geller
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Thanks, everybody.

F Agricola:   That's fascinating!  

Trying to think beyond the idea of having 4 seasons, I realized that New Jersey has 6 seasons as well

Depression Time: January thru early March.  The days are short and everything is dead.
Gloppy Time:  Mid March thru April.  Lots of rain and variable temperatures.
Happy Joy Time:  May thru late June.  Everything's blooming and the weather's fine!
Intensity Time:  Late June thru mid-September.  Hot and humid with thunderstorms.
Cozy Time:  Late September thru early November.  The people and plants are bedding down for the winter.
Cookie Time:  Late November thru December:  Weather? What weather?


New question:


Q: What is the best way to figure out if two peach trees bloom around the same time?
I would like a dwarf peach tree, but they say that the self-pollinating ones fruit better if there is another one around even if it's a different variety.  I'd like to get two varieties to extend the harvest, but they'd need to bloom around the same time. Is the period between bloom and fruit pretty much the same whether the variety is early or late?

 
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Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
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I recognise only three seasons:
Rising, where things are generally growing.  Usually starts about January, when the birds start singing and thinking ahead.
Falling, when things start dying back and you smell that first whiff of senescence.  Usually starts around the first few days of September and runs through to shortest night, after which things start rising again.
And the "hanging days" of late summer when everything has done its thing and is just waiting.

When people say "it's the first day of spring today, you know" because that's what it says on their calendar, it makes me laugh.  
 
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Amit Enventres wrote:Spring: the point in which my cold tolerant seeds/seedlings hit a growth curve great enough to harvest.

Summer: the point in which my cold tolerant crops start to bolt and my cold intolerant seeds can be planted and quickly germinated.

Fall: the point in which it becomes uncomfortable to just hang out outside, but it's not too cold for plants to grow and live, though some have slowed growth curves.

Winter: the time in which plant growth is pretty well null.



I love that you keep track similarly to myself!

Early Spring: When the daffodils start to send their flowers up. There may still be snow, but winter is on it's way out. This signals the last chance for mulching presummer.

Late Spring: When the little blue bell flowers I grow turn the flowers into seed pods. This is normally out of frost danger, but still lots of rain for germinating seeds left in the season. I have to plant my in ground seeds asap.

Summer: when all the irises are blooming, and the tomatoes start to fruit vigorously.

Fall: when my squash gets powdery mildew, the heat lovers start to grow less vigorously, some leaves are starting to look less deep green.

Winter: I see my breath in the morning.
 
wayne fajkus
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Elizabeth Geller wrote:


Q: What is the best way to figure out if two peach trees bloom around the same time?
I would like a dwarf peach tree, but they say that the self-pollinating ones fruit better if there is another one around even if it's a different variety.  I'd like to get two varieties to extend the harvest, but they'd need to bloom around the same time. Is the period between bloom and fruit pretty much the same whether the variety is early or late?



Get the same stated chill hours between varieties for similar bloom times. I do the opposite though. I go for random variety of chill hours. That way if a late frost takes out the blooms(lost the crop) i still get a crop from the other varieties.
 
pollinator
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You should be fine to plant a fig tree now. I like to grow them in pots a few years, so I can bring them inside for the winter. The older they are, the more  winter cold they can stand.
 
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