Thursday, January 12, 2012

Texas Gardening Tips: January Veggies, Herbs and Spring Frost Dates



January is a flighty month as far was weather is concerned...warm one day, freezing  the next.  On the nicer days you can enjoy getting back into your garden!  I know I have.  Its a great time to weed (and I'll get into that later this month if I have time.  It's also a great time for growing cool season vegetables!.  Here's some veggies you can plant this month.

Plant in Zone 7
Onions
English and Sweet Peas


Plant in Zones 8 and 9
PLANT FROM SEEDS
Beets
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Chinese cabbage
Collards
Kale
Kohlrabi
Lettuce
Mustard
Peas (English and Snow)
Radish
Rutabaga
Spinach
Swiss chard
Turnips


USE SETS, TRANSPANTS or TUBERS
Celery
Leeks
Onions
Potatoes, Irish (Tuber Pieces)*
Shallots

*Irish potatoes are planted potato pieces, cut egg-sized, each containing at least one eye.

PLANT IN GREENHOUSES or HOTBEDS
Eggplant
Peppers
Tomatoes

Now, as for herbs, my go to gardening book says "Although herbs have their seasons, planting times are not as critical as they are for vegetables" which explains why their herb planting chart is more vague than for vegetables.  One thing it does say for some herbs is "Plant after frost."   You'll see that on a lot of seed packets too.  Have no clue when that is?  I didn't either...but the internet is my friend!  You can find the first frost date for the Freeze / Frost Occurrence Data at the National Climatic Data Center.   It has the average last spring and first fall frost dates for most US cities.

But it's not exactly a simple chart to figure out.  The Spring section of the chart shows when the temperature is likely to fall to three different temperatures:  36 degrees Fahrenheit, 32 degrees and 28 degrees.   The 32 degree dates are the ones you should use for most crops.  The three columns in Spring show when the likelyhood of having frost at those temps are at 90%, 50%, and 10%...leaving you to decide how much risk you want to take. 

You can read more on frost dates at Mother Earth News and read more about how levels of frost affect plants at The Old Farmer's Almanac.

Oh, by the way, the plant pictured at the top is some heirloom oak-leaf lettuce I planted this fall...I think in November.  They're only a couple inches high and I'm not sure if that's how they normally grow (being an odd variety) or if they are supposed to grow taller.

Well, as you can tell, I'm no gardening expert...just an amature trying to figure things out.  I find most of my info about when to plant in the book Month to Month Gardening in Texas, which I highly recommend, especially if you are new to Texas!




garden

1 comment:

  1. I would so love to have a book that told me about gardening specifically here in Germany -- in English. lol And I would also love to actually be able to plant things before MAY! Ugh. I'm so over this winter stuff. And the fact that Germany is notoriously unpredictable about the weather ;)

    Thanks for linking up!

    ReplyDelete