Another near winterless year for most of us. Plants are loving it… so are the bugs and diseases. With no cold weather kill-off, seems like they are getting a major head start. Spider mites, thrips, aphids, powdery mildew, early blight – just to mention a few – have made themselves at home for many weeks already.
We will be running a series on controlling pests and diseases in the newsletter this month… something you will definitely want so if you’ve not signed up for it yet, do so now! Put your name and e-mail in the form at the top of the right sidebar!
Though we didn’t have much in the way of winter this year, temperatures are dropping below the normal average frequently. Because of that, you could experiment with pulling from the “March In The Vegetable Garden” list a little bit into April. April’s list is stingy.
WOW! NO WINTER AT ALL THIS YEAR, FOR THE MOST OF US…
March plantings are not much different from February’s, but the important thing is this:
MARCH IS THE LAST BIG PLANTING MONTH FOR THE SPRING SEASON.
With April’s warmth, the number of things you can plant drops drastically and then in May, June, and July there are really very few things you can plant at all… you need to have the plants growing already. Heat and humidity will affect plant growth and productivity – and so will the bugs and diseases!!
So here’s the list for March
COOL WEATHER PLANTS
Onion – multiplier, bunching
WARM WEATHER PLANTS
Beans – bush, pole, lima
Remember though, this is just a generic list. At your house in your gardening, things aren’t going to be generic. Yours may be warmer, cooler, sunnier, shadier, dryer, moister, more fertile, different pH, more organic matter, yadda yadda yadda… than the average generic garden.
Look around your garden world. Observe what and where things are growing, sprouting, the color, the health, moisture, disease… and use this information combined with a little common sense to guide your garden planting decisions.
WOW! Looks like we might have another mild to winterless year (from about Orlando south anyway)… 5 in a row.
That’s good, but it’s bad.
Good because we get extra growth, don’t have cold damage dieback, soil flora and fauna grow faster building that good rich soil, planting season is extended, more time to enjoy the outdoors in our garden paradises…
Bad because no freeze means no killing off some of the bugs or at least slowing them down, and bad because it gives us a false sense of “Spring is here” so we plant and then get a frost or freeze that destroys our seedlings and transplants. The fruit trees and bushes get confused and bloom when they shouldn’t, and there won’t be enough ‘chill hours’ that some fruits and berries need to produce, ripen and sweeten fruit – including citrus. The greens don’t get that touch of frost/cold to make them sweet…
Regardless of whether we have any winter weather or not, there is a lot of planting to be done in February.
This list is not carved in stone. It is only the recommended list of the FL Extension Service — which means it’s general. Your yard is not identical to their test plots. Yours may be cooler, warmer, wetter, dryer, higher, lower, more sun, less sun, protected, exposed… and then there are the micro-climates all over the place.
Experiment. Chinese cabbage and spinach are not on the list for February, but I want to plant them. So, I’ll find a spot in my yard that’s a little bit cooler and has a little less sun than the rest and plant some Chinese cabbage and spinach there. If it works, GREAT! If it doesn’t, nothing lost. It’s worth the chance.
New year, new things, new plans… Soooooo excited! I can feel down in my gardener’s bones that it’s going to be a good one.
This month we can get a few warm weather things into the garden – BUT BE PREPARED TO PROTECT THEM! We might not have had any ‘winter’ yet, but we’re far from being out of the woods for some plant killing weather – frost or even a freeze… ya just never know.
WARM WEATHER PLANTS(GET SEEDS STARTED IN POTS SO THAT THEY WILL BE READY TO TRANSPLANT INTO YOUR GARDEN IN 4-6 WEEKS)
COOL WEATHER PLANTS
Onion – multiplier and bunching, but not bulb
Spinach isn’t on the “official” list but you could try it anyway