How is the Weather Affecting Your Garden?

Are you wondering how the weather is affecting your crops? You are not alone.

How is the Weather Affecting Your Garden?

This year the garden is about three weeks behind and it’s the same in the greenhouse. Plants that I have potted up are getting their second set of leaves but growth is slow due to our cool spring weather and grey days. We need to see some more sunshine soon.

How is the Weather Affecting Your Garden?

 

So what can you do until the warmer days arrive?

Pea seedlings that were started at the beginning of March are now ready for planting outside. If you are planting pea seeds in the garden, throw a floating row cover over them or grow them under plastic to keep it warm for them. Starting your peas inside for transplanting is most likely the best way to start this year. I find that lettuce, peas, and mesclun are doing well germinating under the hoop house. It’s hard to say when the weather will be consistently good for germination so I am hedging my spring garden harvest on seedlings grown inside. I recently planted some pea seeds outside to see how long it will take them to come up. I will keep you posted when they do. Remember that gardens close to the home are more protected than those further away. I find the crops growing near my home are way ahead of the crops in the kitchen garden. Its all about the different microclimates within the garden and how you use them.

What can we expect when shopping for plants?

Last time I was at the garden centre, plants were a couple of weeks behind as well. In the greenhouse I am busy potting up hundreds of tomato plants for my plant sale next month. I worry they won’t be as tall as they usually are. So far I have over two hundred plants potted up and realize that many of the ones I am growing are for sentimental reasons. For example, I had to choose from a huge list of tomatoes from the seed bank I grow for. When the name ‘Ferris Wheel’ tomato popped I it brought back fond memories of my favourite amusement park ride as a child. I know it’s silly but it helped me choose the one I wanted quickly.

How is the Weather Affecting Your Garden?

Seeds of peppers, kale, cucamelons, flowers,spinach and cilantro are just starting. My goal is to get all the tomato plants potted up so I can focus on the outside gardens. Problem is I am running out of room in the greenhouse. Usually by this time of year I can place some of the cool season plants outside but the weather is unpredictable at best. I may move some cool season flowers like Geraniums outside and use a floating row cover at night to protect them. Plants like kale and pea seedlings can also be moved out now.  I place my cool season plants on shelves close to the house so if I need to cover them it’s easy to do.

How is the Weather Affecting Your Garden?

What can I plant now?

Onion sets and potatoes can be planted out in the garden this week. I found extra room in the garlic bed to squeeze in a few onion sets. You can also start potatoes now. I have two rows of potatoes planted and they are unusual types. One is called Pink Fir Apple and the other is called an Ozette potato. I found the potato seeds on a trip to Sechelt last summer. Farmers markets are always fun places to find new crops to grow. Ozette are a fingerling potato brought to America in the late 18th century. Pink Fir Apple has been around since the mid 18th century and is the knobby fingerling potato shown above. I look forward to trying both of these potatoes as they are well known for their excellent flavour. Plant what your family likes to eat. I grew these funny shaped potatoes for the grandchildren. Imagine what kind of animals they could look like!

For more ideas on what you should plant in March, check out It’s time to Plant Cool Season Crops

 

 

6 thoughts on “How is the Weather Affecting Your Garden?

  1. Wow! You are so much further along ‘ye olde path I chose as a thing ‘to-do’ this lifetime! 🙂 While I appreciate the info, feel a little bad that I’m now 3 weeks behind, instead of 2 – I also remember the sage advice from my local mentor, here in Colorado,
    “The year we had early, early warm spring, followed by late, freezing temps, blizzards, got hailed out twice, to boot and I ended up planting peas in place, yet again, on the 4th of July, well, those were the best tasting peas I’ve ever grown” – 🙂

    I like to think, your care and focus means you are on Mother Nature’s radar and she’ll fly overall cover for you, no matter how she decides to show up this year – 🙂

    1. I think we have been spoiled by the last few warm winters and early starts in the garden. Our last frost date is March 28 here. I remember the saying “You needn’t plant anything in the ground until a man can sit on the grass with his pants on.” We have had hail in May but its rare, thankfully. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. My peas took two weeks to germinate out in the garden, and that was with them being covered by plastic. I agree, everything is about three weeks behind. I don’t comment often but I enjoy reading your blog.

    1. Thanks for coming by Leona. Glad your peas are up. I think spring is finally here as my radishes are up. They took just over a week to germinate so longer than usual as well.

  3. We had a mildish winter in Toronto this year, but it was followed by a return-to-winter cold snap in “spring.” (The worst thing about the winter here was the fact we had very little sunlight — hard on the psyche.) I’ll be trying to sow some cold weather crops soon in my containers. We’ll see what happens.

    1. We west coasters or should I say wet coasters had a hard winter and there has been much loss of plants here. We are three weeks behind now but plants are starting to wake up.

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