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February in the Mid-South Garden

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February in the Mid-South Garden

Post  staf74 on 2/1/2012, 10:08 pm

Welcome to February my fellow Mid-Southerners!

Although this is still officially a non-planting month (at least outdoors) for pretty much our entire region, there's still plenty to do for the garden. Spring like weather is just around the corner for us and for many of you out there, you're probably asking... "What happened to winter?." Most of the US in fact has experienced a very mild winter by regional standards and my locale is no exception. Today was 68 and tomorrow is set for 71 !!. I've commented on another post that the migrating birds are already back en masse and they always seem to be able to sense the major changes in weather patterns ahead of time.

My overwintered bed has been remarkable. Steady supply of carrots, spinach, Kale all winter. The spinach just keeps on coming, especially when we reached over 10 hours of daylength back in mid January. I cut it all down to all but the smallest leaves recently and not 2 weeks later and a few rainy days to boot, it was all bushy with large leaves again. The plants have large mature root systems and support much faster growth than if I had just put young transplants or seedlings in the beds. So I urge you to consider overwintering, you'll love it. Normally I'd be thinking only of seed starting right now yet I'm pulling mature spinach leaves for fun daily. However, the emphasis now is on the next growing season. So whats a gardener to do?

Well for starters, please refer back to the January update.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t9613-january-in-the-mid-south-garden

Not that I don't have any new information but I wrote that update with February in mind also. Everything in that update should be more than just a bathroom read by now Very Happy
Indoor seed starting for Brassicas should either be started or done by Valentines day. Seeds from catalogs should be purchased by the end of this month if you have not done this already. Turn over those beds and check your weedblock for holes and do whatever maintenance needs to be done to prep for the spring. Add your compost or at least know where it can be sourced in anticipation of spring temps......ahem.....feels like that now. Don't forget to refer to the "ANSFG" book for planting dates and perhaps re-read it for a refresher. No matter how much I read it, something new (or probably more accurate; something I forgotten Embarassed) always seems to pop out at me.

I always try to follow the lead of a local farmer who always plows his cornfield right before spring arrives. I'm not sure who he's been talking to (perhaps those migrating birds) but I drove home from work today and there he was, almost a month earlier than usual, plowing away his land Shocked. I'm not gonna risk a whole spring season on getting an early start but I just have a feeling that you won't be disappointed committing a few squares perhaps 2 or 3 weeks earlier than your average last frost date. So you might lose a few seeds but you can always break out some rebar, hoops and plastic and cover up for the colder nights. SFG lends itself so well to season extension on BOTH ends of your season.

So get your weekend warrior hat on, put the effort in now to prepare for the whole growing season ahead and how each bed will transition the seasons. Please think about a fall garden this year and beyond. Four season gardening here is much easier than I anticipated. That might sound crazy to put into February update but this is your last real month to prepare before the growing season begins. Down here you always want to hit the ground running in Spring because you're guaranteed to hit 80 sometime in April and that spells "Bolt City" to your spring crops.

Happy SFG'ning y'all Very Happy

Post often and share those pics.......

staf74

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Re: February in the Mid-South Garden

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/2/2012, 7:44 pm

Excellent staf We are supposed to be getting one of our biggest storms of the season over the next few day. Makes it hard to start thinking about and planning for the upcoming season Rolling Eyes

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Re: February in the Mid-South Garden

Post  dixie on 2/2/2012, 8:31 pm

Thanks Staf, your posts are always informative & fun to read.

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Re: February in the Mid-South Garden

Post  lturner on 2/3/2012, 4:49 pm

thank you for your post! I am so grateful for all the information I find in this forum! Very Happy

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Re: February in the Mid-South Garden

Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/4/2012, 11:12 pm

bounce
Thanks for the reminders.

your avatar is so cute!!!! the onions Smile

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Re: February in the Mid-South Garden

Post  Music Teacher on 2/4/2012, 11:52 pm

Hello! I am brand new to this forum. I am planning out a 4/4 bed and a 2/8 bed against the wall of our house. I bought a boatload of seeds yesterday and confused the employees at the tractor supply who had no idea what vermiculite was. (I did see a good source on the database, so I'll be calling there)

I bought a seed starter plastic greenhouse by Jiffy that comes with little peat moss "pods." How long can a plant grow in those before it has to be transplanted? If I start broccoli seeds now, will I be able to move them outdoors before they get too big?

I also have a very bright area inside my basement with french doors...thinking of putting my 4/4 there if I get a cold night, so I do have a fairly easy way to deal with unexpected weather.

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Re: February in the Mid-South Garden

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 2/5/2012, 1:00 am

glad you\'re here Music Teacher!

Take a look at some of the seed starting threads for some ideas. I'm just now starting my seeds as I'm only starting my second year. I'm sure some of the more experienced members will hop in and be able to answer your question.

I'm glad there was someplace in the verm database close to you, because that can be difficult to find.

I couldn't tell if you were going to put your 4x4 bed inside permanently, or if you wanted to move it. One thing about a 4x4 bed, it can weigh 200-300 lbs when full and moist, so if your location requires it to be moved, you may want to think about building it on wheels or castors of some kind, and reinforcing the bottom. Smile

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Re: February in the Mid-South Garden

Post  Music Teacher on 2/5/2012, 11:52 am

I had wondered about using wheels...maybe I'd better! 2-300 pounds is a lot :-P

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Sweet peas?

Post  Renny on 2/5/2012, 12:41 pm

Thank you for the very helpful post; I read your Jan post as well. I haven't started even building my boxes, but have been on here for the last 2 hours taking notes & getting ready!

I was thinking of planting sweet peas here in Middle TN. Is it too early yet?

Thanks!!

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Re: February in the Mid-South Garden

Post  staf74 on 2/5/2012, 10:40 pm

Hi Renny Very Happy

Sweet peas can often do well here as an overwintered crop planted in the fall and grow good roots to bloom early in the spring. Get them planted started indoors or in containers as soon as you can and then transplant around mid march. They can tolerate a few frosts and can go in the ground 6 weeks before last frost but i think you could get them in around now or in the couple of weeks and be fine. So get busy on those boxes Very Happy

They are a glorious plant and the flowers are delightful.

Good luck !

I see this is your first post.....so welcome to the forum. Do you have a copy of the "ANSFG" book?

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Re: February in the Mid-South Garden

Post  Renny on 2/5/2012, 11:32 pm

@staf74 wrote:Hi Renny Very Happy

Sweet peas can often do well here as an overwintered crop planted in the fall and grow good roots to bloom early in the spring. Get them planted started indoors or in containers as soon as you can and then transplant around mid march. They can tolerate a few frosts and can go in the ground 6 weeks before last frost but i think you could get them in around now or in the couple of weeks and be fine. So get busy on those boxes Very Happy

They are a glorious plant and the flowers are delightful.

Good luck !

I see this is your first post.....so welcome to the forum. Do you have a copy of the "ANSFG" book?

Thanks! The sweet peas may go up against an existing fence while I work on boxes!! I don't want to miss out on them (again) b/c my boxes aren't ready-but I still have some time, so I may go ahead & just get them started indoors this week. I do have the "ANSFG" book, but I need to re-read it, for sure. I loved the compost post I read earlier, it was super beneficial. I have tried SFG once on a very small scale in the past & it didn't do well & now I know why!!

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sweet peas

Post  Errol on 2/19/2012, 12:00 pm

Renny, I planted sugar snap peas feb 5th 2012, they will be ok, it is a cool weather crop. I always planted peas by feb 15th as most around me do.

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Sweet peas?

Post  Renny on 2/19/2012, 4:29 pm

Thanks! We put our peas out in buckets 2 days ago-& of course it snowed this morning... Also put some out in our SFG. I hope they do something!

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Set out Plants and Peas

Post  ricknhsv on 2/23/2012, 3:56 pm

Hey,

I just started a square foot garden this year. I'm in Zone 7A (Huntsville, AL). I have three 4X4 boxes. I set out my cabbage, broccoli and some sugar snap peas. Did I make a mistake? I am planning on covering them if the temps get around freezing which is happening tomorrow night and Saturday night.

Thanks!
Rick

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Re: February in the Mid-South Garden

Post  dixie on 2/23/2012, 8:25 pm

You shouldn't have to worry about your cabbages, I set mine out too late in the Fall and they have over-wintered fine and are now starting to make heads. They have not been covered at any time. I also have lettuce that is putting on new growth. Our temps have been into the teens, they are pretty tough.

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Re: February in the Mid-South Garden

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