Weather forecast from yr.no, delivered by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the NRK
It’s Planting Time Again!
As you visit Skidaway Farms, you will find it is clearly the place to be! All our farmers are busy raking, weeding, hoeing, amending their soil if they missed the annual compost sale, and most of all planting, planting, and more planting.
Let the fun begin! In this article, I’ll give you a quick review of what is safe to plant in our 31411 zip code now that we should be past our last frost. You should have your seeds of peas, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, kohlrabi, onions, parsnips, radishes, and spinach in the ground. Planting much later than now, according to the Farmers’ Almanac, you risk not having a successful production. Naturally, it all depends on how quickly it gets hot outside, but having these seeds in the ground now offers you a better success option.
March is the perfect month to plant most of your transplant seedlings that you have either started at home from seeds weeks ago or purchased from some of our favorite area nurseries. You want to have already (or very soon) get your broccoli, brussels sprouts, collards, kale, leeks, lettuce, turnips, and swiss chard in the ground to compliment your successful efforts. As I write this article, it is time to get your garden tools over to the Farm. It is time to plant our favorite fruit/vegetable…the wonderous tomato! Many experienced farmers believe growing tomatoes in the South is unpredictable. This unpredictability is due to many factors, including the outside temperature, how much rain we get, how much sun, and which pests or diseases like hornworms, whiteflies, aphids, or blossom end-rot decide to grace us with their presence.
Remember when you plant your tomato plants to water them generously for the first few days. We are lucky at Skidaway Farms with our great irrigation system that Farmer Ralph maintains for us that each of our plots is watered every other day. Don’t depend totally on Farmer Ralph though; your tomatoes need to be checked, as you don’t want them needing water. Tomatoes need about two inches per week during the growing season. Keep your water consistent. It is a great idea to mulch about four-to-five weeks after planting to help retain moisture. Another option is to find some flat rocks and place them next to each plant. Oddly, the rocks will pull water up from under the ground and keep it from evaporating into the atmosphere, keeping your tomatoes supplied with moisture — more on tomatoes in a future article.
Let’s get back to planting, and let’s not forget succession planting. That is when you don’t plant your crops all at once but in successive weeks so that everything does not ripen at once. You then have a continuous supply of vegetables for a few weeks opposed to all at once. It is time to plant those cucumbers, corn, cantaloupe, okra, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, and watermelon. All of these prefer a warmer soil to thrive, so watch for an unexpected frost and realize you have a few weeks to get these plants in the ground. In case you were wondering, mine are in the ground with a second succession series going in soon.
Don’t forget to fertilize or feed your garden. With all of that watering, your plants need periodic food. So much to learn, so much to grow!
Finally, be sure to join us at Skidaway Farms for the Annual Spring Festival on Wednesday, May 1 starting at 4:30 p.m. The cost per person for dinner is $35. BYOB. To register or for payment information, visit SkidawayFarms.net.
Linda Dillard's garden at Skidaway Farms.
Spring at the Skidaway Farms.