...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Garden Pilgrimage: Where Does Your Garden Grow?

While we had something of a history lesson with our visit to Clara's Depression Era Kitchen, in this post we'll have a geography lesson, contrasting early May gardens in Texas and Indiana.

Most seed packs--when you flip them over--come with a colorful little map on the back. That map tells you a lot about when to rip open the pack and plant those seeds. Here are both packages for two different veggies whose growing seasons have different frost tolerances.

Here in the central Midwest, the rule of thumb is to wait until after Mother's Day to plant those things that can not tolerate frost. A few things can take a light frost, but others require soil nudging up toward the 70 degree mark before they'll really produce.

Some plants are no-worry ones, as they self-seeded from the previous year. Here, marigolds, dill, asters and zinnias are popping through the soil--all from last years naturally fallen seeds.

Others I planted myself--like these peas. Peas are one of the hardiest spring vegetables. Mine are already well along in the growing season.
Nearby, Vidalia onions I planted from sets about a month ago are doing well.

More of that dill is making a return appearance.I'll probably have to thin out quite a bit of it.

And the garlic planted last fall is doing beautifully! Nearby, a few tender little sprouts of lettuce have appeared from where bolted lettuce lay last year. I planted a little extra alongside it this spring.

Now, travel cross-country and take a look at what's in season in the Dallas, TX area. My friend, Paula, the one who taught us how to make meringue last winter, shared some pictures from her garden. You can see the contrast right away.

Her corn is already tasseling.

Her summer squash are already forming on the vine, something I don't look for until well into June up here.

And her strawberries look luscious!

The Texas garden is already well into the produce we Midwesterners consider high summer crops. But if you were to go further north, you'd find people only just starting to plant what we here consider early spring producers.

While seed packets come with those colorful maps, many seedlings do not come with such specific instructions about planting times, so if you're not sure when to move things outdoors, check out this website for a state-by-state listing of "last frost/first frost" dates.


Happy planting!

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