The seeds go in the ground then the veggies go in the belly and everything in between boils down to luck, timing and diligence.
KNOW YOUR GROW
What should you plant and what does it need? Agricultural experts have written tomes regarding the likes and dislikes of every vegetable known to man and the book store has racks of them, so go nuts! Or just ask around. Someone in your area has been planting for a while now; and I’ll bet they wouldn’t mind jawing about it for a bit. Nurseries and local farmers are kind of the experts on the subject, so hit them up for some “know how”.
CHOOSE WISELY, YOUNG GRASSHOPPER
For you new gardeners, you may be surprised at how much time and concentration a vegetable garden demands. It might be a good idea to kick off the training wheels with two or three low maintenance staples like carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. Besides, not everyone enjoys Belgian Snorkle Fruit, but who doesn’t like a good old carrot?
‘WEATHER’ OR NOT TO PLANT NOW
Mother Nature is calling the shots. She is fickle, demanding and has really, crappy timing. So when it comes to planning a garden, sometimes the best we can do is go with the consensus.
Personally, I’m convinced (and have been for years) that the weather report is the result of a guy with a Ouija board. Don’t get me wrong… anyone who can make a career out of guessing is all right by me! But I live in Kansas, where the weather gets so confused, it just starts spinning in circles. And eating mobile homes.
OK Fine! Meteorology is a valid science, but it seems to me that all that scientifiky stuff goes right out the window when, all of the sudden… the weather changes. We’re talking about variables and best guess scenarios and that means flexibility so deciding when to break ground can be a bit of a guessing game.
Luckily, the good folks at “The Tasteful Garden” have this to say on the subject…
You generally have a window of several weeks and sometimes even longer depending upon your climate zone. If you don’t like running out at night to cover up your plants with sheets because of a late frost warning then add about a week or two to the dates we recommend.
JACK FROST DOES NOT CARE ABOUT VEGETABLES
There’s this thing called the “Last Frost Date” and the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service actually keeps track of it. Reviewing enough of them may give you a decent idea of when to expect this years last freeze. That can be valuable as a late frost can be the death knell for many young veggies.
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
You may also want to consult the USDA Hardiness Map below.
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
According to the USDA…
The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.
So there you go. Consider what you’re planting, what it needs and whether the weather is going to cooperate.
Best of luck and happy planting.