Happy Monday! It was a glorious, sunshine-filled morning here in Cincinnati. We’re supposed to get more rain this evening but that doesn’t matter because the garden is waking up! The birds are louder, the sun is brighter, and there is green everywhere I look.
I’ve traditionally used the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone to help decide what to plant and when. While it provides great information, as you probably know the zones cover a wide range of territory. Cincinnati is in zone 6A along with parts of California, for example. I’m not a scientist but I find it hard to believe that the same plants will grow successfully, while supporting local pollinators, in both Ohio and California.
In learning how to select native plants that will help the most, I’ve become focused on ecoregions in addition to plant zones.
Hello to my fellow Ohio vegetable gardeners. If you’re new to gardening or just want an overview of when to direct sow some popular crops outside, this chart from the Ohio Farm Bureau provides great information.
Want More Seed Starting Dates?
If you want to take a deeper dive into starting seeds inside and outside Johnny’s Selected Seeds has an easy-to-use calculator that provides all the info you need to get your seeds started at the right time. The calculator includes dates for a variety of both vegetables (collards and kohlrabi, for example) and flowers like salvia and sunflowers. I used this calculator to help create my 2017 seed starting log, FYI.
In typical Cincinnati fashion, March certainly came in like a lion! We had a stormy start to the new month and the rainy weather continues. I’ve enjoyed taking the time to walk slowly throughout the yard and gardens where it seems everything is getting an early start this year.
February 2017 Goals Recap
February is a short month so I went light on my goals. Even so, I only really accomplished goal 1. But cleaning the seed starting containers was an important, and somewhat thankless task, so I’m happy to announce that it’s done. New planting areas, which is goal 2, is ongoing but I have given it lots of thought and will share once I make some decisions. I am going to become a Certified Square Foot Gardening Instructor (goal 3), and I’ll work on this throughout the 2017 growing season. Finally, I’m punting on hoops for the raised beds until late summer/early fall, so there’s my out for goal 4.
March came roaring into Cincinnati overnight—wind, thunder, lightning, heavy rain, and even some hail early this morning. And, while it’s supposed to cool down a bit from the 50s and 60s we’ve been enjoying, I still can’t get over how mild this winter has been and how much green there already is in the garden.
Like these Egyptian Walking Onions. They’re new to me and I’m excited to try them out. I planted last fall in a grow bag (have you checked them out?) because I wasn’t sure I wanted them walking all over the garden!