The Lazy Gardener
Figuring out the right planting times & temperatures can be tricky. Feet are not always an accurate indicator of temperature. Apparently, though, in England there is a wives tale that says “If you want to know when to sow, take your trousers off and sit on the ground!” During Victorian times the former method was replaced with an elbow. I recommend against said wives tale, and opt for other means of determining the best time for planting a particular plant.
Seed packets carry a wealth of information to help. Some packets have the USDA Plant Hardiess Zone Map on them. The Zone Map shows Rochester as Zone 5b so I know to buy plants and seeds that will survive within my zone. I also need to find the dates of my “average last frost” which can be found online. I linked through the UNH Extension Home, Yard & Garden site with a search of “frost dates” to the Northeast Regional Climate Center which states “about half of the Northeast has passed the date of the average last frost.” Hooray! And that “If a frost or freeze is anticipated, watches and/or warnings will be issued by your local National Weather Service Office.” I definitely keep a weather eye out not only for frosts but for temp highs & lows, droughts, strong winds/rain and hail. I am definitely the laziest grower, but I will throw a tarp or blanket over my plants to avoid damage.
Also the UNH Extension is one of my go to sites when seeking info and not just on gardening. If you can’t find a Fact Sheet or Blog Post on what you are looking for you can Ask UNH Extension and a real person will get back to you with an answer.
So no matter how you are determining the soil temperature, try your hand at sowing some seeds. Peas are easy to grow and good to plant right now! Sometimes, as a measure of extra laziness, I leave some of last year’s pods in the garden to see what happens.
-The lazy gardener.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” -Audrey Hepburn
I took advantage of the good weather of late and a raised bed I amended (added a soil mix of loam, ash, compost) last fall and planted some seeds! I love the feel of warm spring soil and the joy of sprouting seeds.
Raised beds do warm up earlier than ground level beds, so I took a chance with the planting. I had fun making the “S” shape which hopefully will look nice when the beans mature. I also added calendula, radish and Swiss chard as well to fill out the rest of the bed. Those last will do fine with early spring weather.
There is a multitude of information on raised beds, soil mixes to fill them and what grows best in them. As always the UNH Cooperative Extension specifically and cooperative extensions in general are the best first stop for info. I searched ‘raised beds’ and this blog post “question of the week” was at the top of the list.
I found this gem, Building Raised Beds, on Hoopla. It is available to borrow right now! There are no wait lists.
Also on Hoopla this: Bean by Bean
Enjoy the weather and any beans in your future!
-The Lazy Gardener
As the weather warms up I start thinking about growing flowers, herbs, vegetables and whatever else I think I can keep alive. Seeds and plants all have their own needs. Peas like cold “toes”, as my mom would say, while tomatoes like hot “toes”. Tomatoes like their roots, and the rest of them, nice and warm! Soil takes longer to warm up than the air we feel as spring winds on.
Note of caution: There are a lot of diy instructions online. I have used some of them. If a sealant is called for remember that sealant is seeping into your soil and plantings along with the water.
Be safe! -the lazy gardener