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Southern garden chores: April  RSS feed

 
John Elliott
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I had to give February and March a respite, for with the polar vortex sitting to the north of us, there wasn't much gardening to be done in February and March. No potato planting on Valentine's Day, and the peas planted at the end of January are just now getting started. A far cry from last year at this time, when I was already harvesting snow pea pods.

But the winter of 2013-14 is behind us now, so let's look forward and see what we can get to grow. I have a suspicion that we are going to go from winter with its hard freezes straight into summer without much of a spring to be growing cool weather crops. No brassicas this year. I'm not hoping for much of a potato harvest either. With daytime temps in the 80s this week, our soil temperature is going to shoot up from the mid-50s to above 70 (corn planting weather) in no time.

I think just a little more patience is required, and when we get three consecutive days of soil temps above 68 (you can check that here), we can go ahead and get the hot weather crops into the ground. Here's some advice from UGA on when to plant your peanuts. This year, I will keep the damn squirrels out of the peanuts!
 
Scott Stiller
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Thought the same thing John. I skipped potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, ect. I'm actually thinking of planting my murasaki sweet potatoes a month early from slips I've grown over the winter. Hopefully old man winter doesn't show back up.
 
John Elliott
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Scott Stiller wrote:Hopefully old man winter doesn't show back up.


I sure hope not. I transplanted my first tomato seedlings from the greenhouse out to the hugelbed today. But if old man winter comes a calling, I have plastic cloches to fight him with.
 
Scott Stiller
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My hugel beds generate a good deal of heat and I'm betting yours are better put together than mine. It's got to give us a couple extra weeks of planting in spring and fall.
 
Alex Ames
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I have Swiss Chard, potatoes, cilantro, collards, mustards, lettuce and spinach. My asparagus is starting
to come up but looks mighty thin so far. I skipped peas, cauliflower, broccoli etc. I usually do those in the
Fall.

John like you my tomato seedlings are planted and have survived for a couple days. If they don't get
pounded too hard in this rain event headed our way they are off and running. Yesterday I planted some
more lettuce along with radishes and cucumbers.
 
John Elliott
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All right, the sorghum went in yesterday, I'm ready for the rains to come.

I'm going to hold off another couple of weeks for the finger millet and the pigeon peas. They will want the soil temperature to be in the 70s before they get going.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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I’m container gardening in a rented lot this year so my usual cycle is completely off. I did go buy some potted plants, flowers, herbs, strawberries and put them in my new experiment – hugelplanters. The landlady liked it so she suggested I put in a raised bed. Well…..um….yeah. I don’t have to be told twice. Once I get that up and running I’ll be back in business!!
 
Alex Ames
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I put pots and buckets over my tomatoes last night and they appear
to survived the cold snap. We have another chilly night tonight and maybe
then we can call it Spring.
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John Elliott
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We were down to 34 this morning, but luckily everything came through. I planted my sunflower/bean/cucumber intercrop today. I read in a paper from the University of Florida where sunflowers attract all sorts of insect eating birds. I have plenty of cardinals that hang around my garden anyway, but this should make them even more welcome.
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Woke up to a snow covered backyards right now it is below freezing
 
John Polk
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A far cry from last year at this time, when I was already harvesting snow pea pods.

Why do you think that they are called 'Snow Peas'?
In China, they keep planting each week until the first frost comes.
Those that have been sprouted a couple of weeks just go dormant.
They will overwinter under 6" or more of snow.
Once the soil gets warm enough in the spring, they resume growing right where they left off.
(Hint: the day you see them starting to regrow is the perfect time to begin your spring plantings.)

Here in Seattle, I have harvested my first ones about 2 weeks after others have put in their first planting. They looked bewildered as I was harvesting. "How did you do that? That's really fast." I answered "Not really fast...I planted those in October!"

Not only do you start getting an early harvest, but the overwintered plants will tell you when it is right to start this year's rotations.

 
John Elliott
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John Polk wrote:
A far cry from last year at this time, when I was already harvesting snow pea pods.

Why do you think that they are called 'Snow Peas'?


I'm with the rest of the locals that think snow is a Northern plot to ruin traffic. 'Snow Peas' are probably survival food for when you are stuck in traffic with no hope of getting home in time for dinner.
 
Alex Ames
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Covering my tomato seedlings has gotten them through this cold snap.
Now it has rained non stop for a couple of days.
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John Elliott
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Nice looking onions, Alex! What variety are they? Are you growing them for scallions or bulbs?
 
Alex Ames
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John Elliott wrote:Nice looking onions, Alex! What variety are they? Are you growing them for scallions or bulbs?


That is garlic. I keep bunching onions to use as needed and try to grow
a crop of onions for bulbs too. I don't think they are in the picture.
 
Alex Ames
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Alex Ames wrote:
John Elliott wrote:Nice looking onions, Alex! What variety are they? Are you growing them for scallions or bulbs?


That is garlic. I keep bunching onions to use as needed and try to grow
a crop of onions for bulbs too. I don't think they are in the picture.


On further review there is a row of onions on the opposite side of the bed and they
are not nearly as far along as the garlic, which was planted in the fall.
 
Alex Ames
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Mr. Elliot what are we supposed to be doing this month?

First tomato blooms.
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John Elliott
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Alex Ames wrote:Mr. Elliot what are we supposed to be doing this month?



Go to this thread.

Thanks for keeping me focused on the chores, Alex. I've been so busy outside that I've left a whole week of May slip by. And now that you mention it, I noticed my first tomato bloom of the season today as well.
 
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