Monday, April 2, 2012

This year it seemed as though we jumped straight from a mild winter to summer! At least that is what everyone is saying days. It does appear to be true. The wisteria I have photographed for the last few years has already shed its blooms and started putting on leaves and my saucer magnolia was a total non-event this year. It is good I have photos from previous years.

A lady at our lawn service said she thought our area lawns were a full month ahead of what they should be. She may be right. It seems like I can remember a few warm winters, springs and summers a few years back, though the trend was certainly going in the other direction the past couple of years.

When you are a gardener or wanna-be gardener like me, you are more affected by early springs, too much or too little rain, or almost anything to do with the weather because to a certain extent, it controls what you are able to do.

I do think we are about two weeks ahead of where we normally are -- weather-wise. I have looked at photos I have taken in the past few years of my garden and we do seem to be ahead.

What does this mean for our gardens this year? I think we need to be prepared. The pest situation may need to be controlled earlier than usual. I am expecting more problems with worms, beetles, aphids and other pests. For those like me, who are trying to raise organic produce, I am expecting more beneficial insects, too.

We have planted much of our warm-weather crops we would generally save for planting around Good Friday. The way things are trending, we thought it a good idea. We could have a little frost before spring has officially ended but I can't see us having a very hard freeze.

We have decided to grow much of our squash crop under row covers and in between the squash plants we have planted marigolds to discourage pests. We saw this practice used in other organic gardens. I don't know what our results will be, but if it doesn't work to deter the pests, I am sure it will be lovely.

We have also planted our beans, a few cucumbers and are considering putting in some plants. Our tomatoes, raised from seed are about ready to go into the ground and we do have everything plowed and ready to plant.

 I may wish I had been more cautious later, but it is looking more and more like early summer. I just hope it is a good thing for our apple, peach and fruit trees. A frost now could be a disaster for our fruit tree crops. Call me crazy, but I just think warm weather is here to stay.

Our friend and fellow garden club member, Charlotte Nelson said at our meeting, "I plant all my summer crops on April 10." She has done this for a number of years and hasn't had a bad crop since.

That is why even though I might feel the need to a bit early, you can't go wrong on waiting just to be sure.

Posted by Deberah Williams

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