Garden Planning Time
If you have been in Southeast Texas for the last few days, then you would have thought that it was springtime. It is January even though it feels like March this week. I am sure that the weather will change soon and that it get cold again. Texans say that “If you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes.” As the saying illustrates, our weather is unpredictable.
These last few days have given me a taste of springtime, which made me start thinking about my spring garden. Some people around here begin planting in mid-February. However, most years I plant during mid-March. Waiting allows me to not lose anything from a last minute freeze. The ground is also warm.
Regardless of when you plant, the most important thing to do is to keep your eye on the weather. I made the mistake in the fall of not making a point to watch the forecast. Now I know that meteorologists are not known for their accuracy day-to-day. However they are really good at letting you know when a cold front is coming or a big storm is approaching. Because of my mistake, a cold front killed my fall garden. The only survivors were my onions. We are still enjoying them, but my lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, etc all were burnt by the freeze and did not make it.
So this spring we are really wanting to raise some cabbage. You can still get cabbage around here if you plant in February. Therefore, my game plan for gardening has changed slightly. I plan to plant cabbage mid-February as long as the weather permits. I will watch the weather closely so that I can take preventative measures if a cold front rolls in. Then in mid-March, I plan to plant my other vegetables as usual.
A great online resource for finding what grows well in your zone is at Mother Earth News. It not only tells you what to plant, but when to plant. Another helpful resource is The Old Farmer’s Almanac. You also choose your zone and can get a free 2 month weather forecast, which might be helpful when deciding when to plant.
Another cold front is inevitable. It is just a matter of when. However, I have time to plan out my garden. I can decide what I am going to plant, how to plant it, and sketch out my garden plot. When we are huddled beside the fire again and the wind is howling outside, I will be thinking and planning my garden in the warmth of my house. Wintertime is garden planning time.