I’ve lived in the South my entire life — Arkansas to be exact. Let me dispel a myth I’ve come across as I have met people from other states or countries: Yes, we wear shoes. I even wear my shoes in the garden.
Good, now that we’ve got that out of the way, the South is pretty awesome. Sweet tea is nectar from heaven. You can’t beat fried okra on a hot summer day. And we can garden from January(ish) through November(ish).
That’s my favorite part. My calendar consists of:
- Gardening season
You can’t beat that, right?
But, if every rose has its thorn, the Southern Garden’s thorn (besides our oppressive July-August heat) is our tendency to snap from winter to summer in a short period of time. Or we go from winter to spring to winter, multiple times before March.
Those factors make planting crops that like cooler weather (but don’t do well in freezes) kind of tricky. I admit, I haven’t figured it all out, and it seems I learn more and more each season.
In this week’s episode of The Beginner’s Garden Podcast, I talk about growing cooler season crops in the tumultuous spring weather of a Southern Garden. I cover subjects such as:
- Timing is key, and how to know when to plant what
- The biggest mistake I made in planting lettuce
- The best tip for growing cabbage
- How to get your spinach to harvest before the heat sets in
- What it means for a plant to bolt and how to deal with it
- The one cool-season crop I still haven’t figured out (I’d love your tips!)
- The best time I’ve found to grow carrots
My Favorite Gardening Books:
(links below are affiliate links)
The Gardener’s Bug Book by Barbara Pleasant
Find Your USDA Hardiness Zone by plugging in your zip code here.
The one mistake I made in planting lettuce one year:
As you can see, I planted all of my lettuce at the same time and there’s no way we could eat it all! The above picture is of my kids a few years ago and my son harvesting snap peas.
What has your experience been with growing cool weather crops in a southern garden?
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