can we start spring planting early

scotty66(8 Hutto TX)February 6, 2013

I am in central texas (austin area) and the winter has been unseasonably warm.

I am chomping at the bit to get my spring vegetable garden started. I am HOPING that there won't be any more days with temps below freezing.

What are your thoughts? Is it feasable to start tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers etc... now? or is that asking for heartache later?

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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

One can put the tomato in a pot for a couple of weeks and then put them in the ground. Around the 11th and on, it forecasted to get down into the 30's and 40's, too cold for young tomatoes. g If they are in a pot, one can haul them in when it gets cold. Many bring their tomatoes in and out in theis early period. Others cover them with frost cloth on cold nights.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:11PM
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Should be able to easily plant stuff like peas, lettuce, carrots, turnips, cabbage, spinach... any cool weather crop. I would not start tomatoes, cukes and other cold-sensitive stuff until at least mid-march,and have a tarp handy just in case.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:20PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I just planted more snow peas. Tomatoes do not like it below 50 at night. They will live but it effects their fruiting or so I have been told.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:28PM
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This is one of the reasons we make our own tomato rings from pig fence. That way they can be wrapped with plastic for protection for the cold nights and the early windy season. In Michigan we use to use what they called Hot-Caps. They were just domed cardboard with a whole at the top to let the light in. Some here even put up stakes and make plastic tents to extend the seasons on both ends. It depends on how much you want along with cost and time expended.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 2:01AM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

I think starting out with a few tomato's in pots will satiate my gardening urge. and I'll also get started on those cool weather plants (beds are ready and waiting).

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 8:57PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Make friends with weatherunderground and keep an eye on the temps and bring the pots in and out.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:18PM
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I've already started tomatoes, peppers, and some flowers from seed, and will keep them in small pots for a while. When it gets cold at night, I bring them indoors. And, tomato starts are already in the nurseries, and I've bought several and put some of them out already. Fingers crossed that we don't have any more freezes!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:52AM
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Here is a picture of my starts under my sole light. I have too many varieties to tell you at this point. Almost all of my herbs are there, tomatos, peppers and lots of other items. The close up tomatoes were started in mid January. And about every week I started another 72 count tray. I guess I will have a pretty big garden.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:22PM
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Anthony Nguyen

I planted my tomato seedlings in mid December and have potted up twice on them. They were coming close to being root bound in the 5" diameter pots I have so I put them in the ground on groundhog's day weekend because the groundhog says no more winter. Haha. My mistake cause this week its suppose to get in the 30s and low 40s. So I'll be running Chirstmas lights along the ground and putting painters tarp on top of the 12 tomato plants I have in ground tomorrow.

FYI: If you live in the city of Pflugerville or Round Rock, the cities have mulch and waste compost for free for citizens. I didn't know this and have made a couple of trips out there to get mulch.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:35PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Aahh life in Texas Spring time. One of my best crops I planted transplants in Early February because I didn't know any better and the Spring Gods were gentle with me.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:51PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

funny... few days after making this post, the 8 day weather outlook has forcasted at least 3 days in the low 30's (wet and cold). I knew these past few weeks of 80 degree weather were just too good to be true.

I picked up a free truckload of horse manure off craigslist, and i also bought a couple 55 gallon barrels to speed up the composting process. In addition, I'm working on a new cucumber trellis.

hopefully that will keep my gardening itch at bay for another month or two.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:11PM
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I say NO!

Im checking the farm report and IMO soil temps are still too low. And as someone else said cold weather is moving in. Im waiting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Texas Soil Temp

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:16PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Nice site! Amazing how warm we are compared to southern arizona and California.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 12:07AM
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