You may have seen some signs of spring coming recently — an unruly flower popping out ahead of schedule, or some other omen. At this point, we can all sit around and complain about how back in our day, the seasons knew their places, and February was the coldest month of the year.
And it isn’t anymore. We just glanced at the weather app on an iPhone, and in the 10 days coming up, the temperature around Huntersville will only once dip below freezing, and then only briefly. And later that day, it will get up to 51 degrees Fahrenheit. (We don’t know what it will be in Celsius — this is America.)
But as we said a moment ago, you can complain about it, or blame somebody, if you think that will help. Greta Thunberg blames world leaders, and maybe she’s right. But what good would it do?
Talk is cheap. The issue before us now is, what should we DO about it — in a practical sense? How about if we forget about days gone by, and figure out what needs to be done right now about that vegetable garden? Assuming, of course, that you have one, or plan to have one.
The first thing you need to do is figure out which zone you’re in, according to the USDA. Well, we’re going to go ahead and tell you, to save you the hard work of entering your zip code into this USDA map. You have enough work coming up as it is.
You live in Zone 7b. That means you live in the southern, warmer part of Zone 7. In fact, just south of Charlotte, you get into the upper reaches of Zone 8.
What does this mean? It means you should have planted your cool-weather vegetables before now! In early February! That means beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, turnips, kale and collards. Don’t you like beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, turnips, kale and collards? Then what are you doing sitting around reading blogs?
In March, you can take a bit of a break, and just plant some corn. But then things get wild in April, when you have to get started on the warm-weather crops: beans, cucumbers, eggplants, okra, peppers, squash and tomatoes.
We got all that from this one website. In fact, we get all our information on this stuff from websites — we aren’t farmers any more than you are, you suburbanite. And sometimes the advice varies. In fact this one says your gardening world isn’t going to end if you haven’t planted those cool-weather crops yet. In fact, you can get started on those beets in March, and you don’t have to get the corn in until May!
So there’s time. Maybe. We think. You can relax. For a time…
But then you’d better get out there and get busy!!!!