Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gardening Quiz

What kind of gardener are you?

It's been a sunny week in the end of April, all the snow is gone, and the soil is just starting to warm up. Do you:

a) seed your peas and spinach?
b) plant out your broccoli starts?
c) transplant your tomato seedlings?
d) rejoice and pull out the kiddie pool?
e) nothing? (duh, everyone knows you don't plant until the May long weekend.)

If you're thinking WWCD (what would Christie do), here's my thoughts on the subject. :)

If you chose (a) and/or (b), you are a risk-taking gardener! But not a super crazy one. Did you know that broccoli plants can survive temperatures of up to -4 degrees C? In fact, last year mine were out in late April when we had a snowstorm, and they survived (under their lightweight row cover) with very minor frostbite. 

If you chose (c), I hope you have a greenhouse! I planted mine out in early May last year, but it had been mid-20s for a week and I was still taking a risk with those tender tomatoes. Then again, in central Alberta, you are always taking a risk with your garden! I distinctly remember a July or August snowstorm one year when I was a kid. 

If you chose (e), you might be surprised to know that our average last frost date in Edmonton is May 10, which is 2 weeks earlier than the long weekend. You can certainly wait until the long weekend to plant tender veggies like peppers and tomatoes, but most other plants and seeds can go in the ground much earlier. And if you are dying to get gardening after seeing snow for far too long, this might be just what the doctor ordered for your sanity!

So, in short, here's what I plan to do when this most recent snow dump melts (and baby stops nursing long enough for me to get outside)...

1) Rejoice!
2) Dig some compost into my raised beds.
3) Harden off and transplant my broccoli, parsley, and possibly my cabbage as well.
4) Seed my spinach, peas nd kale. as soon as the soil is not super waterlogged.
5) In the next couple weeks I hope also to seed my beets and carrots. If baby allows!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our planting schedules are quite similar this year Christie! I just put transplanted our broccoli (they've been under a cold frame for about a week) though they're still a bit small. I've put up two pea teepees in the last week and a pea fence today. I don't know about spinach this year and I just put our first volley of beets, carrots, and kale into the ground. I see we're expecting a dip down to -1C on the weekend but I'm (foolishly?) not too worried.
Hey, I may have an astounding Watermelon variety for you to try if you like!