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Southern garden chores: January  RSS feed

 
John Elliott
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I'm starting this new thread because I realized that we have some newbies here that haven't picked up the tide of the seasons yet and are wondering where, and more importantly when they can start. We follow a different calendar in the Deep South than the rest of the country, and it is most annoying that the home centers operate on one schedule that has them getting stuff in weeks late for when we most need it. For instance, January is the perfect time to be planting strawberries, but are they on display in the stores yet? Not where I have looked. And do they ever have a selection of seeds for fall planting? No, just the leftover dregs that they couldn't sell in the spring.

But even if they think that one calendar fits all, those of us who have been at it for a while know different, and I would like to collect some practices here that are of general applicability in zones 8 and 9. One of the references I use is this planting guide put out by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. I've found it to be good advice, although their fall planting dates don't need to be so tight on the range. As you can see, even though it is bitterly cold outside now (if you are from the upper Midwest and laughing at that, just go away, who invited you?), it's time to be getting the cabbages and cauliflower in so that they have time to grow to a good size before it gets too hot and they bolt.

Another chore for January is to get the strawberry and onion beds tidied up. Clean up the strawberry plants, move the ones that are getting too crowded, and add some new mulch so that they can be getting some of those nutrients when it warms up. I have been lifting my Egyptian walking onions and moving them to new areas. I'm quite impressed with how well they do in my garden and my onion purchases at the grocery store have almost dropped to zero. If anyone is interested in trying them, send me a PM with your address.

That's all for now, in a couple weeks I will put together a list of February chores to work on.
 
Alex Ames
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John what have you worked on this month? I have been planting radishes
and lettuce but expect I may be too early. I have 15 varieties of tomatoes
seedlings in the garage on a heat mat and under lights.
 
Leon Elt
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Location: Central FL
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We're planting various fruit trees, chufa and Lespedeza Mix in Central FL (not really gardening, eh?)
 
John Elliott
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Alex Ames wrote:John what have you worked on this month?


Picking up from the ice storm! I'm glad to see February gone and done with.

Compared to previous years, my garden looks horrible. Very little made it through the Polar Vortex, a parsnip here, some creasy greens there. What nice days we did have I spent building up the hugelbeds with the 5 loads of mulch I got from the power line contractor. I'm going to be able to plant afresh this month with so little overwintering.

I think my Southern gardening chore for March is going to be pretty short -- get out and plant, plant, plant!
 
Alex Ames
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I have 20 varieties of heirloom tomatoes at the seedling stage.
Last night I moved them from seed starting mix into potting soil.
Very tedious work but it went well and now I just need it to warm up
so I have somewhere to go with them.

My daffodils are in full bloom but it is still Winter here.
 
Alex Ames
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After tomorrow's cold snap I am going to start acting like it is Spring.
I am ready to get some things growing around here. It has been a hard
Winter for this part of the world.
 
John Elliott
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Alex Ames wrote: It has been a hard Winter for this part of the world.


And even that is an understatement!

Usually, my garden chores for February are to plant peas and potatoes. The peas are only 4" high now and a couple of potatoes are trying to break the surface. But not yet, potatoes! I'm going to cover them tonight so they don't get nipped and like you, after tomorrow I will act like it is spring. I suppose all the garden chores that got weather delayed in February and March will go on the garden calendar for April. At least I got some hugelbed work done.
 
Alex Ames
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I just got off the phone with a friend of mine in Huntsville and while we were
talking it started to snow. I said surely it is just flower petals flying by. He said
it was indeed snow. So it may take a few more days yet.
 
moose poop looks like football shaped elk poop. About the size of this tiny ad:
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