Planting seeds

mulberryknobFebruary 11, 2013

Started the broccoli, some more tomatoes and peppers and soaked the pea seed overnight. Transplanted the early tomatoes into individual pots to grow on. Will start some flower and herb seeds later this week. And now just hope and pray that we get more rain this season than last.

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helenh(z6 SW MO)

When can I plant kale? Does anyone plant it inside and transplant like you do your cabbage? Could I plant it outside in a cold frame?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:54AM
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Helen, I planted some outside in early March that did ok and also have planted it in late August and that did even better. In fact the kale I planted in August of 2011 overwintered and bloomed and dropped seed in summer of 2012 and we ate it in the fall. It is still alive but I won't let it selfseed again as I have other plans for the area. I haven't tried planting it inside to transplant out, but last spring I planted Black Leaf Cabbage--from Baker's--at the same time I planted broccoli seed and transplanted it out and it did well until the weather got so hot and dry, so I don't know why you couldn't do kale the same way.

In Oct of 2011 I planted some kale in the greenhouse, and we ate on it all winter. In 2012 I forgot to plant any in there. Let us know what you do and how it works.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:39PM
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Hi Helen:

I planted kale seeds in early August, transplanted them into the main garden in mid-September for a fall-winter crop. The kale is not deterred by our winter weather, is still going strong. Kale, collards, cabbage, and broccoli are great fall - winter crops. After a frost, no bugs!!

Two days ago, I sowed seeds for a spring crop of Tuscan kale. When I checked today, those seeds had germinated. I'll transplant in 3-4 weeks, will use row cover to protect the seedlings from temperature extremes and wind. I doubt the spring crop will be as productive as the fall-winter crop, but we love greens and kale so will keep it going as long as we can.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:44PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I've got pea seeds planted and sprouting in the greenhouse. The young tomato, pepper, broccoli and cabbage plants are getting potted up tomorrow. I have been working outside on the nice sunny days, knowing I'd be staying inside on Tuesday and probably Wednesday while the weather is cold and (maybe) rainy or snowy. I've been saving my potting up for the cold days. The lettuce has just sprouted in the greenhouse and I'll transplant the tiny plants to the cattle trough planter in a couple of weeks when they have some true leaves growing.

I've started about 40 varieties of flowers, herbs and minor veggies like chard and kale, but the seeds only have been in the flat less than a week and they are just now starting to sprout. I've got everything in flats out in the greenhouse, so they're sprouting more slowly than they would indoors in warmer nighttime temperatures, but that's a deliberate choice because I don't want everything to sprout too fast and get too big while the nights are still chilly. I may have to move them inside for a night or two while temps dip into the 20s, but I may just throw row covers over the flats in the greenhouse and hope for the best. Well, the flat of tomatoes and peppers will be inside on those cold nights.

The ground is ready for the cool-season plants and the seedlings are popping up and can be transplanted soon. I'm just waiting for the weather to stabilize a little.

My Dixondale onion order arrived today, so I can plant them whenever the weather and I agree that the time is right.

Helen, I've direct-sown kale in the garden and I've raised it inside and transplanted it outside. It works fine either way. I imagine it would do just fine in a cold frame.

The dinosaur kale I planted last fall has done great all winter and still is going strong. I agree with Pam that cole crops are less bug-infested in fall and winter, but y'all should know that I've already killed six cabbage white butterflies near my greenhouse in the last few days, and one inside of it. They're out early this year, probably because I still have kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, mustard and cabbage plants from fall. I don't know if I've ever had cabbage whites this early in the year. We've had some days with high temps near 80 though, so I have seen all kinds of butterflies, moths, bees, grasshoppers, red wasps, flies, one blister beetle and....a spotted cucumber beetle. They're all busy looking for food.

The bunny explosion must be occurring,and I am not seeing or hearing many coyotes so it may be a good year for the rabbits. After not seeing too many of them all winter, suddenly little cottontails are hopping all over the yard at night. I'm not sure if they are eating the winter rye grass, or searching for bird seeds under the bird feeders, or maybe both. The bunnies and I get along just fine as long as they stay out of the garden, and our fencing keeps them out about 99% of the time.

With all the little plants in flats, it is starting to feel like spring, although this week's weather will look a little wintery.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:17PM
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I have a quick question about kale. I started seeds for 4 varieties of kale in August, transplanted in mid- September. All kale plants are much smaller than kale grown from Bonnie seedlings in past years. When I transplanted, used long-acting Osmacote. Sprayed with fish emulsion a couple of times in the fall. The plants are probably 15" tall max, have grown very little since late fall.

The collards in an adjacent bed are smaller than usual too. Another factor: I usually plant fall crops in a different garden that provides more protection from the wind - the soil is a little different, nothing major.



    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:53PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Pam, Did you plant the kale seedlings from Bonnie in the same beds and in the fall? My kale plants stay smaller in fall and winter's shorter days, but get much larger as the hours of sunlight per day lengthen and as the temperatures warm up.

What I have found with winter plants in my garden here, is that they have to do most of their growth in August through October when it still is fairly warm and we have a decent amount of sunlight. Once the daylength is shorter and the temperatures are cooler, the plants grow very slowly. Mostly we just harvest in the winter from plants that stay about the same size as they were in mid-autumn. Then, in late January they start growing really rapidly in warmer air temps and with a little bit more sunlight on each successive day.

When you read Eliot Coleman's writings on getting a winter harvest in a much colder climate than yours or mine, you'll note he talks about the winter harvest, not the winter growth. Even with greenhouses or high tunnels, low tunnels, cold frames and row covers, it sounds like his crops have to make their main growth in late summer and fall before the light levels drop too much and the real cold sets in. Mostly what he is doing in the cold season is harvesting from plants that aren't really actively growing but which are, rather, just sort of in a holding pattern---doing well enough to sit there and be harvested but not warm enough to make much visible new growth. Make sense? We likely get a little more growth in winter's low light than he does because we are further south and because our temperatures are warmer, but not necessarily a lot more growth.

My kale, collards, mustard, and Swiss Chard stayed pretty much the same size through all of December and January, but now is undergoing a rapid growth spurt and the plants have doubled in size in the last couple of weeks. The lettuce fared a little better. We harvest using the cut-and-come-again method and it would regrow after being cut. What I noticed, though, was that it only regrew well after warm spells. If we cut lettuce and had a cold spell of several days, I wouldn't see any regrowth to speak of until we had a warmer spell of weather.

I'm inclined to think it is more day length and cool soil/air temperatures than anything else, unless you're seeing an obvious nutritional deficiency that would show up as pale leaves or something.

My plants put on the first big obvious growth spurt after we had several days with highs around 77-78 and lows in the 50s or 60s in January or early Feb. That's one reason I think your issue might be a similar weather-related issue. When the soil is really cool, I don't even think the roots take up much of the nutrients in the soil, so foliar feeding likely is more effective in winter anyway.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 1:11PM
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Dawn - you're right! Why didn't I think of the obvious - light and temps??

In my mind's eye, I knew what the kale looked like when I bought Bonnie plants a few years ago - and planted them in September.

This year, I started seeds for greens in August, transplanted seedlings in mid-October. They didn't have time to get big before their growth shut down for winter.

I don't know why I didn't think of this. I've seen the same thing with fall planted lettuce. If I'm late sowing seed, the lettuce stays small until around March when it takes off. Same same.

Thank you!


    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:20PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


You're welcome.

Well, for some reason I find that sometimes I am looking for a complicated answer when an easy one would do. I suspect that is why your brain didn't think of light and temperature, nor did you realize you were comparing apples (September plantings) to oranges (October plantings). You were trying too hard! Next time try to dumb down your thinking and look for the simple answer. : )

Tim's heart is about to break. The beautiful lettuce plants in the cattle trough from which we have harvested lettuce since October are getting tall and getting ready to bolt. Not being a gardener, he isn't expecting it even though I have explained to him repeatedly that they would bolt as the daylength grew and the weather got warmer. He is a lettuce maniac and loves to run out to the cattle trough and pick lettuce right before mealtime. You cannot get a fresher lettuce than that.

He is going to be immensely disappointed when the big beautiful plants bolt and I take them out and replace them with tiny seedlings. I am growing the seedlings in the greenhouse where the nights still dip down around freezing, so they are about a half-inch tall. One variety of lettuce (Sea of Red) is not nearly as far along in the preparing-to-bolt category as the others, so maybe I can take out all the other plants, leave Sea of Red a bit longer, and plug the tiny seedlings into the holes left by removing the bolting plants.

We are supposed to hit 24 degrees tonight. Brrrrr! I guess I'll throw row covers over the lettuce. I've only covered them up a couple of times this year, though Tim will run out and cover them up on nights when it is not even going to get down even close to coldenough temperatures to even threaten the lettuce. He overprotects that lettuce the way that I overprotect tomatoes.

My least favorite thing about overwintering crops is that a few extra-warm days in January or February will cause them to bolt earlier than they otherwise would. That's exactly what is happening now.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:27PM
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Dawn, Does Tim like wilted lettuce? My daughter keeps asking me to pick enough lettuce from the greenhouse so she can wilt some, but there just isn't enough and it is still good for fresh salads. But when it does develop a bit of bitterness and start to stretch, I will pull it all, pick it and wilt it for her. I saute sliced radishes and green onions in a bit of olive oil and then throw the lettuce in, turn the fire off, put on a lid and let it wilt. Splash on some vinegar, and sprinkle on some salt and that is good eating.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


I have no idea if he would like wilted lettuce or not. Apparently in the 30 years we've been married, the subject of wilted lettuce never has come up. We have had wilted spinach before.

I'll have to try cooking him some wilted lettuce and see what he thinks. Thanks for the idea.

He likes lettuce so much, I think he'd eat it if I dipped it in tar. Well, not really.....

I overplanted lettuce so I could feed it to the chickens throughout the winter. I don't know how many lettuce plants there are in that cattle trough but I'm guessing about 40 or 50. So, I think we'd definitely have enough to wilt some.

The other day I read that sometimes you can prevent lettuce from bolting by digging up the plants and transplanting them. It is an interesting idea and I might try it with a dozen plants or so and see what happens. I guess the way it is "supposed to" work is that if you cut them back severely and transplant them, then they'd put energy into re-establishing their roots and growing new leaves. I don't know how quickly after that they'd bolt.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 4:32PM
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I was very surprised to learn how many people pre-sprout peas. Astounded. But as you continued to discuss this, I understood and may pre-sprout my sugar snap peas when I get around to planting them, probably in a week or two. We've had cold temps this week, next week is forecast to be colder so I haven't been in a rush.

I did plant a bed of English peas - Green Arrow - in December. Farmerdill recommends this, says it is the only way to have a decent crop. The peas are 3-4 inches tall now - covered with row cover.

I have a question about melons and squash. I usually direct sow everything after late March or early April - squash, beans, okra, etc. The discussion about pre-sprouting peas led me to wonder how you handle melons, squash, etc. Do you direct sow or start seeds and transplant?

Dawn - yes, you're right. I was looking for a complicated answer when a simple one was correct. Won't be hard to dumb it down. ;-)


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Pre-sprouting peas is just so handy. It also can get you your harvest a week or two earlier. Those of us who have heavy clay soil that can hold too much water don't have to worry about our peas rotting in cold, wet soil before they can sprout.

With all the hot season stuff, sometimes I direct sow. Sometimes I start them in little paper cups and put them into the ground as transplants. It just depends on how fast the air and ground temps are warming up. I like to soak okra seed in water and pre-sprout it if the seed is more than a year or two old because old seed often germinates poorly or not at all.

Are you always in the same race we are in to get the plants to produce before the insane heat arrives? That's another argument in favor or pre-sprouting or going with transplants.

Maybe it is me and maybe I am getting less heat-tolerant as I get older, but it seems to me like the heat starts getting to where it is too unpleasant to work outside all day in June, and it used to be that I didn't feel that way until July. So, either it is getting too hot too early, or I am losing my heat tolerance as I age.. Either way, I like to get the plants into the ground as early as reasonably possible in order to get them up, growing, flowering and producing before the heat and drought start ruining things. Any time I use transplants or pre-sprouted seeds to do that, I get a crop earlier than if I direct-seeded the same date.

When we first moved here, I direct seeded almost everything, but the longer we're here, the more I start transplants. If I start my transplants of melons in the greenhouse, I can put them in the ground as two-week-old plants when the soil temp hits the right range for them instead of putting them in the ground as seed. That means, theoretically, I will get my harvest two weeks early. Realistically, maybe only a week earlier because of transplant shock.

When I start squash, beans or okra as transplants I try to get them into the ground pretty much the minute one true leaf opens. The smaller they are, the better they handle transplantation without transplant shock.

I first starting using bean and southern pea transplants as succession crops to follow cool-season crops that were finished. That way, I could do the final harvest of a cool-season crop in the morning. Then I could yank out all the plants, rake the soil smooth, etc. and transplant the succession crop into the ground before dark. I love the quick changeover.

Some springs I'm really busy and cannot start "unnecessary" transplants inside and transplant them out, so just direct seed. Some years it warms up so much that I can put seeds in the ground at the same time I would have started them inside to get transplants. When we have a long, cold, wet spring (not that we have them so often) and I'm stuck indoors a lot, I start everything possible inside and then transplant the plants into the ground when the cold, wet weather breaks.

No two years are the same so I just try to tailor my planting methods to how busy I am and how warm or cool or wet or dry the weather is.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:15PM
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Thanks, Dawn. I learn so many new interesting and exciting things here every day - really remarkable and fun.

Pre-sprouting seeds or starting seeds of warm season crops inside never occurred to me until the discussion about peas. I think I'll try it this year, maybe do a few experiments by starting some inside and some by direct sowing, see what I learn. If we warm up fast, I think you're right - the benefits may not be as great.

I'm in the same boat re: the heat. No doubt this is partly due to getting older but it is hotter earlier and the high temps are higher than ever before. A couple of years ago, we had a string of 107 degree days in August. I know that won't impress an OK gardener but I don't think we've ever had a 107 degree day in my lifetime. It was awesomely awful. We also have very high humidity so that makes for a wicked combo.

Thanks again for all the advice, ideas, suggestions, and hand-holding!


    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:32PM
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...any suggestions about whether it is too early to plant out spinach, lettuce, kale, peas, etc that was wintersown? Plants are about two inches tall with leaves.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:32PM
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Here in z 6 I feel it is a bit early, but in z7 maybe not, especially if you have some Remay or old sheets to protect them with on cold nights. If you don't want to risk it could you put them into bigger pots for a couple more weeks?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:23PM
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I can certainly concur with the lower tolerance for heat that has grown since I've achieved a more mature age, ah hum. The worst days are those that are 110 with no wind - not even a slight breeze. When we have a bit of a breeze, I can at least cool down with a cool washcloth, or a splash in the face with the hose, but that doesn't help very much with no breezes to add to the mix. My tiny enclosed garden just feels like a steam bath after I've watered. Whew....

Do you guys ever sow seeds in flats? I know that tangled roots can be an issue, especially for those plants that dislike transplanting. OTOH, I have transplanted a of "capricious" plants handling them in the same way as my other plants, with very few problems. I have a couple of container flats I'd like to use.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:19AM
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Hi Susan:

What do you want to plant in flats?

I had the same question because I'm preparing to start peas (and beans later). I plan to plant peas next to a trellis that's 16' (192") long. If I transplant every 2", that's approximately 100 plants on each side of the trellis. I think this will be easier if I can plant the seeds in flats. Or maybe pre-sprout seeds in paper towels or coffee filters. Not sure about the pros and cons of methods.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 5:00PM
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Tomatos - yeah, I know, I am getting another late start despite my well-meaning plans for an early one. Probably some of my Asclepias physocarpa, Calotropis gigantean, C. procera, Caelsipinia gillesii, and C. pulcherimma.

I will put the tomatos in flats separate from the milkweeds, and the milkweeds segregated from the Caelsipinia.

The ones I'm really worried about are the Caelsipinias because, being in the Fabaceae family, they are the most likely to have transplant issues.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:13PM
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Pam, the paper towel or toilet paper tubes would probably work best for the peas. They don't transplant as well from flats unless they are contained. I used to use peatpots until I heard about the tubes and find they work as well. I cut the toilet tubes in half and the papertowel tubes in thirds, then line them up in the flats. The roots will fan out under the tubes, but if you squeeze the tubes a bit as you pick them up, they release and come up nicely. I used to plant a double row on each side of the panel, but found it too easy to miss pods in the growth, so now plant on one side only.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:12PM
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Hi Susan, I wasn't familiar with the plant name "Caelsipinia" so looked it up on Google. Is it the same as Caesalpinia? I looked up Caesalpinia gilliesii - that is bird of paradise? That's one cool looking plant!

Dorothy, thanks for the good advice. I need to plant peas very soon, don't have enough tubes, so will use both methods. I hadn't thought about the peas getting too crowded if planted on both sides of the trellis. That's good to know. I'm interested in how much a 16' row will yield.

I may also use the paper towel method to pre-spout fava beans. Favas are broad beans that grow in cool weather and keel over when temps go up. Some people plant fava seed in the fall, others in late winter "as soon as soil can be worked." Depending on the variety, they take about 80 days to mature. They can also get tall - up to 5' so they need support. Last year, I planted fava seeds in the garden in mid-March - the heat arrived before I got much of a harvest. If I germinate the seeds now, I hope to get a decent crop before hot weather arrives this year. It's a race with favas, similar to peas.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:38AM
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Well I am running behind also. I just finished plant broccoli and cabbage seeds. Nearly all the onions are in the ground but not looking great. The onions I started from seed look like they wont live, some planted at 3 wks, some at 4 wks, without hardening off.

I must improve on my method of starting seeds. I need much more room and more light.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 1:41PM
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Pam, if you have only 16 feet to put peas on, you might be ahead to plant on both sides of the support and just put in the extra time to pick carefully. I plant on 3 cattle panels so that's close to 48 feet. One year I picked over 40 lbs from that single row

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:16PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


My gut feeling is that it still is too early to put anything, including wintersown plants, into the ground just yet.

Here's why:

First of all, cold-hardy plants do tolerate some degree of sub-freezing temperatures, but not as much as most new gardeners expect they will. Almost all of the cold-hardy plants that we grow here in vegetable and herb gardens can tolerate temperatures between 28 and 32 degrees and some amount of frost. How much cold they tolerate below 28 degrees is highly variable depending on what they are (kale is especially cold-hardy), how much previous cold exposure they've had, etc. Some veggies and herbs can tolerate frost and cold air temperatures down to 26 or 24 degrees, but there's no guarantee ever that they won't freeze. For example, a plant might tolerate an overnight low temperature of 24 degrees if that temperature lasted only an hour or two, but might freeze if that temperature lasted 8 or 10 hours. They might tolerate 26 degrees just fine in dry weather, but be miserable if 26 degrees and icy.

There are lots of variables that help determine if any given plant can survive frost, freezing temperatures, or winter precipitation. Some of those variables would include your specific microclimate (my microclimate is colder than that of some nearby neighbors and I keep that in mind when they sometimes start planting earlier than I do), how sheltered from cold wind your garden either is or isn't, how warm the soil is, how much freezing precipitation might fall on the plant, etc. Without knowing the historical data for your specific location, none of us can even guess if it is okay for you to transplant your plants now. None of us has a crystal ball either, so cannot say if it is likely your plants will or will not be exposed to temperatures of, say, 32 or 28 or 24 degrees during the next few weeks.

So, what it really comes down to is how much of a risk you want to take. If you feel like a hard, killing freeze (28 degrees or lower) is unlikely based on historical climatological data for your area, feel free to plant. If you have a sheltered location where buildings or solid stockade fences block north winds from your garden and also reflect light and heat onto it, you might feel like you can transplant those plants now. If you have floating row cover and can cover up the plants if freezing precipitation or a hard killing freeze is expected, you might feel like you can plant now.

This is no specific date in February or March where anybody in Oklahoma can say, with absolute certainty, that there will not be another hard, killing freeze or even a light frost.What we're all doing is guestimating, wishing and hoping!

I am about as far south as you can go in Oklahoma and still be north of the Red River, and I haven't put a thing in the ground yet because it is very likely I have between 1 and 3 killing freezes left to occur yet this winter. I have many flats of plants ready to put into the ground, but am not willing to risk losing them. In 4 or 5 days I might feel differently. We'll see.....after this week's cold spell passes.

I am in southern Love County and my average last frost date is around March 27th, and my average last killing freeze of 28 degrees usually is a week or two before that. I normally don't put anything in the ground, except for onions, this early in the year and even the onions have frozen some years when put into the ground in February. I usually don't put edible podded peas into the ground until around March 1st. You do not necessarily gain anything by putting them into the ground while it is too cold because they will just sit there and sulk until it warms up to a temperature they like. So, for me, I feel like the risk of losing a very early planting to a hard freeze is greater than the small reward gained by planting when it is still as cold at night as it has been on some recent nights. If the plants are going to sit there and not make new growth because the soil and air are too cold at night, I'm not gaining anything by putting them in the ground early.

You also have to decide how much of a gambler you are. If you don't mind taking the risk of losing plants and having to start all over again with more seed, then why not plant early? I plant a huge garden so I'd rather wait a little bit longer to put plants in the ground than have to start hundreds of new seeds for the replacement round of plants.

I'm going to link some climate data for OK that shows the average last date of various temperatures. Keep in mind that with all averages, there is still a 50% chance of that temperature occurring after that average date. I don't even trust that 50% date because in 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 I had a killing frost on May 3 or May 4 of each year, even though my average last frost date is March 27th. Does that mean I don't plant until May 4th? No, but it means that I am very careful about when I plant, I watch my weather like a hawk, and I have 5000 square feet of floating row cover in my garage so that I can cover up everything in the garden if very cold temperatures threaten. On the linked data below, if you can't find a listing for your city or town, just find the nearest city or twon.

I will plant very early when I feel like I can. Last year my instincts were screaming "early spring" and I put 4 tomato plants into a huge, non-movable container on Feb 23rd. This year? My instincts are screaming "Don't you dare!" I've learned to listen to the little voice in my head because it rarely lets me down. You will develop your own instincts about what will work for you in your location, your microclimate, your soil, you wind and temperature patterns, etc., but it will develop over time.

My general rule of thumb is that if I have to ask myself "does it seem safe to plant now", then the answer likely is no. When is just feels automatically feels right with little doubt, then it is safe to plant.

Susan, I plant in flats sometimes, but only when I am going to quickly transplant the tiny plants either into small pots so they can grow on or if I am going to transplant them into the ground almost as soon as they sprout. I don't like to let the roots get too tangled in one big mass.

Pam, I sow peas into 3 oz. paper cups with a big X cut into the bottom. I put two peas per cup and plant them,cup and all, once I feel like it is warm enough. The cups mostly decompose over the course of the season. Right now I have 400 paper cups in the unheated green house. About 80% of them have pea plants about an inch tall. The 20% that don't are just beginning to sprout and are one specific variety that seems to be more of a slow starter than others. They have been exposed to some nighttime lows as low as 25 degrees in the last week or two, so that may have kept them from sprouting as quickly as they would have if I had kept them indoors on the light shelf. I'll be watching the weather closely the next 5-10 days to see when it seems 'safe' to put my pea babies in the ground. We have to get through this week's rainy and cold spell first, then I'll see how the 10-day forecast looks.

I have plenty of other cool season veggies and herbs in the greenhouse but am not rushing them into the ground. My experience here is that I am better off waiting another week for the cold nights to warm up a big more. While we are having some gorgeous daytime weather, the nights are still cold and frosty. I am eager to get my cool season plants out of the greenhouse to make more room for warm-season plants, but the cold weather isn't through with us yet.

Larry, No matter how much room and light I have, I always need more. It seems like there is never enough. I've had my Dixondale onion plants for about 8 days now and haven't put a single one in the ground because I'm waiting for the Wed.-Thurs. cold and rain to pass. Then I'll see if I am ready to put those little baby onions in the soil. Last year it rained cats and dogs (two 3" rainfalls a few days apart) right after I planted onions and it got really cold and a lot of them froze, so I am not in a big hurry this year.


Here is a link that might be useful: Climate Normals for Oklahoma

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:28PM
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Pam, yes that's it. I just transposed a few letters inadvertently. I tend to do that when I'm typing to beat the speed of! Yes, C. gillesii bears the common name of Desert Bird of Paradise and C. purcherimma that of Red Bird of Paradise. So far as I know, gillesii is the hardiest of most in this genus, being root hardy to zone 7.

I think it is a very pretty plant with unusual blooms, and will be growing it for the hummers and butterflies.

Thanks, Dawn. Some plants can tolerate substantial root disturbance, while others can't. Generally, the legume and Fabaceae family resent too much manhandling because of their tap-roots.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:09AM
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