We’ve had a tough winter in central Virginia, with more snow than normal, and many cold, wet and dreary days. Most of the white stuff came in one fell swoop though, so it hasn’t been too tough overall. If you’re like me, you can’t wait to get out there, to the garden I mean. Spring is upon us, but hold up a minute. Not so fast!
Even though you’re ready to start that vegetable garden it’s not quite time. The garden centers will soon begin to offer up vegetables, herbs, annuals, and landscape plants for planting in the very early spring. What they don’t tell you is that many of those plants, especially vegetables and herbs, are tender and will not survive the frosts that are still sure to come. I don’t know if their strategy is to sell more plants, but it’s not so nice not to inform their customers. So savvy gardeners and consumers we should be.
What is the last frost date for your area? Checking with your local extension office is a great source for regional information. For my area, it’s around the 15th of April. Tax day- a great way to remember it and something to look forward to after that day that many people dread!
Even after the last official frost has passed, nights can be quite cool. If you are sowing seeds in the ground, some veggies prefer the soil to be warm when planted. It’s been proven that for veggies preferring warmth, planting when the soil still has a chill will actually stunt the plant’s growth. The same identical plant put in the ground around May 1 with actually outgrow and out-preform the same specimen planted earlier in cool soil. Check the plant labels. They usually provide a wealth of information and sometimes even the correct soil temperature for planting.
See more in my next post… I think a series is brewing! There’s a lot to tell about veggie gardening.
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