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April in the Middle South

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April in the Middle South

Post  MidTNJasonF on 4/1/2010, 9:04 pm

April is here and much of the Middle South is experiencing some fantastic weather for a change. With the Good Friday and Easter Holiday upon us I know many are out in their yards and gardens. Many of us are just weeks away from our last frost dates, some in the lower section of the region have already passed their last frost date. So what are you up to in your Square Foot Garden?

Personally I have a couple days off from work. We are currently slow but expecting a huge boom in April and June so this was a chance to give the crew a long weekend before the 60 hour weeks start. I spent nearly the entire day in the yard and garden after a quick trip to Home Depot this morning.

I mixed up a wheel barrow full of Mel's Mix for some container planting and filled some hanging baskets with new Coco fiber mat and the mix. I planted a few marigolds and spread some creeping thyme in the baskets. I also managed to clean out a few flower beds of old growth and dead leaves. All that clean up of the flower beds gave me a nice new pile of material for the compost pile so I added it and turned that over a bit.

I have actually been very behind in my garden work in this spring. I just got some seeds started indoors a week or so ago. I had nothing started in the garden so I broke down and bought some butter crunch lettuce to transplant in the garden today. I also planted some marigold transplants in a couple squares and trimmed some dead twigs out of my rosemary plant. I should have more time in the garden on Friday and hope to plant a few new things as well.

My trip to Home Depot was interesting. I found they had a number of items perfect for us Square Foot folks. They had three different 4'x4' raised bed kits at reasonable prices. They had one in pine (pressure treated), one in cedar, and one in vinyl. They also had two nice rain barrel kits complete with down spout diverter hardware. They even had some composting items including a very economical recycled plastic bin for composting. I will detail these finds a little better in a separate post in the general forum.

Please share a little report of your own April projects and experiences in the garden. A few pictures would be great. I will share a few myself as soon as I can get them re-sized and uploaded.
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MidTNJasonF

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Re: April in the Middle South

Post  Cathyegar on 4/4/2010, 8:52 pm

I am in NE Alabama. I built my boxes yesterday and was hoping I was not jumping the gun by planting my tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, etc too early. I also have okra, rattlesnake gr beans, and squash seeds. This is my first sfg so not sure when to plant.
I am going to get my soil mixed tomorrow and hopefully plant tues or wed. Hope it goes well.
Cathy in AL

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Re: April in the Middle South

Post  MidTNJasonF on 4/4/2010, 9:07 pm

You may be a touch early but probably not. We do get some late frosts here some years though. I lost a few plants and a tree to a late April frost two years ago.

If you do not have anything planted yet you can certainly keep them inside for a couple weeks to be safe or if you have the ability to protect them from frost you can get them in the boxes sooner. A bit of clear plastic over the plants may be enough for a light frost. If you fear a harder frost you could try other common methods like buckets set over the seedlings or tent type A frames that can be used in a mini green house fashion.

I have a number of things already in my beds and will have more over the next week. I will just keep an eye out for cold forecasts and be ready to protect everything.
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MidTNJasonF

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Re: April in the Middle South

Post  kimbies on 4/6/2010, 10:29 pm

Who can figure 7B weather? Last avg. Frost date here in upper SC is 4/1, and on 4/5 we hit 87! So much for spring, summer is full on. I've got lettuces, carrots, radishes & sweet peas from seed that have sprouted. Cabbage, broccoli, & brussels sprouts transplants went in on 3/23 and I'm praying they won't bolt by May Day.
Waiting til the waxing moon to put in tomatoes, cukes & melons, pole beans, okra & corn. They should love the heat!
Don't feel like doing much outdoors anyway... stand still for 5 minutes and you're yellow with pollen. (If there was a sneeze smiley...)
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kimbies

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FROST DATE?

Post  MEGAN1 on 4/7/2010, 1:03 pm

I live in Woodbury, TN...close to the McMinnville side....and the last frost date is considered for me April 19th? I just realized I was wanting to try radishes and possibly onions which are to be planted about now...is that right? This is my second year, but first year really doing it right...with the book and all. So my head is spinning!

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Re: April in the Middle South

Post  MidTNJasonF on 4/7/2010, 8:39 pm

Yes Radish and onions can and probably should be in the ground now in your area. I have onions, shallots, radish, and several lettuce varieties in the ground now in Smyrna. Also have Potatoes in the ground and bean seeds in the ground but not yet up. The potatoes are in movable containers so I can shelter them if we get a late frost. I will have to settle for covering anything else.

I heard rumor of lows back in the 30's at night in the next week so I might have to drag out a couple sheets to cover a couple beds.

Welcome by the way Megan. I have a few co-workers that live in Woodbury and commute into Murfreesboro to the shop. I often ride out in that area as well. There is a some really pretty land out that way.
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