The Backyard

The Backyard

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ready to Plant - Is it Time Yet?

I know most of you already have your seeds and tender annuals in the ground, but I traditionally wait until I'm sure mom nature isn't going to surprise me with a late spring frost that could wipe out my hard work of the past couple months. That happened several years ago -- I started a bunch of seeds, grew them under lights for a couple weeks, set them out and planted on a warm spring day, and on Memorial day, a frost wiped everything out overnight. Both my mom and I were devastated, not to mention the cost to replace everything. We live on the border of zones 5 and 6 and I've learned over the years to plant according to zone 5 because we near always get the weather for zone 5. The Harrisburg area (about 40 miles south of me) is a solid zone 6 and is about two weeks ahead of us in the seasons -- you can see it in the trees each year. They get the leaves before we do, but we get the color in the fall before they do. It's usually about a 5 degree temperature difference every day too. The kids are ready to play in the playyard, but I'm still going to wait until May 18 to plant. By that time I can rely on weather predictions of cold nights until Memorial Day. And what's going in the ground on May 18? Plenty:
Amish Paste Tomatoes
Early Girl Tomatoes
Nardello Sweet Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers
Cayenne Peppers
Another Sweet Pepper that I can't recall the name
Purple and green basil
and ALL the seeds:
Beans (yellow and green)
Dry beans (black, white, and kidney) (first time planting drying beans)
Quinoa (new this year -- it'll be interesting to see how this turns out)
Heirloom tomatoes
Zucchini (what's a garden without zucchini?)
And a couple flowers for the bugs and bees: snapdragons, marigolds, dill, zinnias, sunflowers.
I think I'm planting more, but I can't remember without getting the seed box.
I might be busy this summer!


Heather Jaracz said...

Looks Great! I think its wise to wait, I don't think you get much out of setting them out a week earlier anyway and it's not worth the risk. But next year I want to try some under row covers.

DailySAHM said...

Are you really starting your squash on the 18th and not waiting till the end of the month? I'm trying to decide what to do ... the info says the soil has to be about 70 degrees for germination.

I've been meaning to ask you, you bought the Fedco Oregon Snow Pea seeds, correct? How did yours do? I did 4 sowings in 2 different locations and I probably didn't get a 25% germination rate.

Chili said...

My oregon snow pea seeds are all doing well -- they all sprouted. not sure why yours didn't -- maybe there were some duds in your mix? And the squash... yes, I'll get them in the ground simply because I'll have the time to do it. I won't water them and let mother nature warm the ground and then when the rain hits, they should pop right up.