Dates of Note • Two months prior to Frost Free Date You can start planting • In NOVA: St Patricks Day- Plant Peas • In NOVA: St. Patrick’s Day- Start some other early spring goodies: carrots, spinach, beets, and some lettuces • Mothers Day: This is a key date for our area - basically, the last day of frost has occurred and its time to move our peppers and tomatoes and heat loving plants into our garden. Sow your Cilantro, parsley now! • July 4th- Plant potatoes and squash (avoid the bugs!)
How many can relate? Another variable in the topic of timing!http://greensideupveg.blogspot.com/2010/10/spinach-feta-puff-triangles-little-bit.html
Understanding the role of Plant Clockshttp://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/uploads/soilclock1.jpg
Long Day Plants Examples include: : (not comprehensive) Artichoke Beet Carrot Chervil Chickpea Cilantro Dill Turnip Fennel Lentil Lettuce Mustard Greens Napa Cabbage Pea Radish Spinach Long-day plants flower and bear fruit during the months wherein the nights are short and the days are long.
Short Day Plants (i.e. long night) Examples include: (not comprehensive) Purslane Cowpea Cucumber * Okra Soybean Pigeon Pea Sweet potato Black Currant Winged Bean Lamb’s Quarter Black eye peas Common Bean * Hops Lima Bean Sunflower Yardlong Bean * Some cultivars Short-day plants flower and bear fruit during the months where the nights are long and the days are short.
Day Neutral Plants Examples include: (not comprehensive) Apple Brussels Sprouts Cabbage Cantaloupe Cauliflower Corn Kale Kohlrabi Parsnip Peach Pear Rhubarb Strawberry Tatsoi Tomato Wine Grape Day-neutral plants flower and bear fruit all year round.
What this ‘P’ word means to us home gardeners….. Avoid the summer solstice entirely for fast maturing long day crops like turnips, radishes, beets, and mustards. Plant them midsummer as fall crops.
Indicators that you can plant cool crops outside
Veggies you can plant PRIOR to last frost & in fall Cool weather veggies (spring and fall) Carrots Collard Greens Onions (spring only) Arugula Leeks Shallots (fall planting only) Peas Turnips Spinach Cauliflower Broccoli Radish Chard Kale Bok Choy Mustard Greens Cilantro Parsley Garlic (in fall only) Potatoes (spring planting only)
Veggies you can plant after threat of frost is passed Warm weather veggies Tomatoes Cucumbers Eggplant Peppers Squash Basil Beans (Pole & Bush) Watermelon Cantaloupe Sweet Potatoes Corn Summer Squash Zucchini Pumpkin
One of the most important steps- Hardening off.
Hardening off process … 1.Set plants outside in full or partial sun for 2- 3 hours the first day, then bring in. 2.Next day, put them out 3-4 hours, then set in shade for a few hours. 3.After 3-4 days of gradual increasing exposure to sun, leave them out all day long. 4.After 2 weeks, ok to leave them outside all night (if it doesn’t freeze!
The art of ‘transplanting’ – Rules of Thumbhttp://www.vasadp.org/blenheim-farm-0409/
The art of ‘transplanting’ – No Shock Techniquehttp://www.organicgardeninfo.com/images/transplanting.jpg
Just a cool picture!http://www.vasadp.org/blenheim-farm-0409/
Preparing for the unknown weather…. Or gambling
From the experts• Sow 2 weeks before the recommendations on the seed packet,• Patiently wait until the seedlings have 2 sets of true leaves (not cotyledons), before transplanting. I get stronger plants, and way fewer fatalities.• All my seeds are started on heat mats set at 75 – 80 degrees, speeding up germination, then moved to the sunny side of the greenhouse.• Oh, I also cover all seeds with sand (play sand is great), and put a low blowing fan above the flats to increase air circulation. This eliminates damping off.
From the experts- Susan Planck• Never allow seedlings to be stretching for light. Snap peas can take the cold. So can spinach and garlic.• We cover all plantings, all season of squash and cukes with row cover, removing row cover for good, only when plants begin to blossom.• We cover all planting of lettuce all season, removing to pick and then recovering.• We cover the first planting of tomatoes until plants need stringing.• We cover eggplant until end of June , uncovering from time to time to pickoff potato beetles.• We uncover all covered crops weekly to use our food grade foliar water based fertilizer.• I also used a biodynamic calendar during the last ten years or so for seeding dates. I would use the schedule I sent you, and pick the fruit, root, flower or leaf day closest to the date I wanted.