Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Planting in the Hill Country

Even though we are still getting some pretty cold nights here in Texas, spring is right around the corner.  Most people recognize spring by the sudden appearance of spring flowers, the native wildflowers that burst open and bring a smile to our faces.  Those flowers didn't just spring up from nothing, the plants, bulbs, and seeds were already in the ground, dormant during the cold nights, waiting for the right temperatures and adequate amount of sunlight.

Our gardens work the same way, we need to have our garlic, onions, potatoes and cool weather seeds already in the ground.  Yes, our crazy late winter weather can be as confusing to us as it is to our gardens (cold, warm, sunny, dry, wet, cold...), but carrots, beets, radishes, kale, spinach, and other cool weather seeds will remain viable through the sunny days and freezing nights and dry soil and wet, misty rains. Then, when the time is right, they too will spring forth.  

So don't wait till you see the native wildflowers to get out in the soil.  Here in the southern states, you will have more success planting the cool weather crops earlier rather than later.

**Now, this does not apply to warm weather crops.  No way, keep your tomatoes and peppers in a warm place until late march.**

Gardening to provide your table with fresh produce is a good way to sustain your physical and mental health.  It's a wonderful way to involve your family in meaningful work.  Using permaculture and organic methods also teach your family to appreciate the interactions between seemingly separate systems.  Plus, the more food you produce on site, the less of your income goes towards your grocery bill.  Cutting costs is almost always a sustainable choice.

Happy gardening y'all!

other cool weather seeds to try: cilantro, dill, parsley, chives, and other herbs