Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Homestead Tips on Tuesday: Heed the Frost Date

With the melting of the snow and the return of the birds, many folks start to get the spring itch to plant. I know it is very hard for me..... looking at all my seed packets, dreaming of the bounty they will bring forth, wanting to start the second a warm breeze blows.... But in order to be successful in the garden and avoid heartache and lost plants, you need to heed the frost date.

What is a frost date? It is the date that your area will most likely see your last frost of that year's winter. In my area of Michigan it is around the beginning of the second week of May. So, why is knowing your frost date important? Because while you don't want to loose plants, such as tomatoes which love heat, by putting them out too early..... there are pants that like cooler temps. Cooler crops like lettuce and broccoli can handle a light frost and can be planted outside a few weeks before the last frost date. Some plants, like spinach are so hardy, you can plant them as soon as the ground is workable! And I love spinach!!


Once you know what you want to plant in your garden, you need to read the seed packets. Most will tell you if the plant prefers cooler or warmer temps. They will tell you when to start your seeds indoor if you want to get a jump on your growing season for warmer plants. But you can't plant 4-6 weeks before your last frost if you don't know when it is!!!

So how do you find out? There are a lot of sites you can use to look it up and, well, they will all give you slightly different info which you can average out. Or you can go to the old tried and true Farmer's Almanac site and find out. Keep in mind each site will give you different odds (aka percentages) on the date they give you. What this means is, if it is a 10%, then there is a still a 10% chance of frost after the date given. Gardening is gambling! Patients is rewarded. But knowing what you can plant when, makes it fun because you can get started sooner then your frost date if you care to grow cooler type crops.

So what are you waiting for!?!? Grab some seeds, get reading, find that frost date and get growing!!! May all you bushel baskets be full this summer!!!






**Homestead Tips on Tuesday is a weekly series where we help you learn skills, tips, and trick to help you on your journey of homesteading. Many places post list of things you should/could do as far as homesteading skill, but I feel lists are at times overwhelming and can make people give up before they even start. So every Tuesday I share one thing for you to try or consider. I hope you join us every Tuesday and I would love to hear about your adventures with each weeks topic.**

26 comments:

  1. All these gardening post all over the place are making me so super jealous. I can't wait to have one of my own.

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    1. Grab a 5 gallon bucket and plant some corn! It can be done anywhere!!!

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  2. I have trouble with this every year! About this time we start having days like yesterday and it just FEELS like you should be able to plant! But, invariably, 2 weeks later I wake up on the cold, frozen tundra. We won't put tomatoes and other sun lovers in until the last week of May. It feels far away but I know it will be here in a flash and then I'll be in my kitchen, canning my 900th jar of tomatoes and swearing I'm going to plant less next year! LOL

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  3. Finally got a few items planted in my garden. I am hoping to be done this week.

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    1. We are still waiting for the cold to go!

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  4. Funny to read this today, as my kids & I just planted our seedlings today :)
    Thanks for sharing at "Share Your Stuff Tuesdays" (Rachael @ http://www.parentingandhomeschoolinginfaith.com) Please come back & link back next Tuesday with any of your new posts!!!

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    1. I am still itching to get my stuff in the garden but being in Michigan I have to wait a little longer (and it is killing me!!!)

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  5. I think I'm going to take you up on the 5-gallon bucket of corn :) Love that you're in the planting spirit. I really REALLY want to have a garden soon so I can plant some zucchini, spinach, tomatoes, basil, parsley, etc... Mmmmm...

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    1. You would be amazed what you can grow in small containers :)

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  6. Great advice! These posts are always so helpful...thanks for sharing on the Thursday Blog Hop!!

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  7. Good advice, you may be lucky if you plant early but you may not. It's not worth taking a chance. Our safe time to get the summer garden in is around Memorial Day. Makes it easy to remember. Thanks for sharing on Green Thumb Thursday!

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    1. It is so hard to wait sometimes! LOL But your right, it is better to wait then have to do it twice!

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  8. I am in Genesee county (MI), where are you? I have been wondering when to plant things. I have a box growing inside the house. They are getting so tall, they are falling all over the container. It has started to be a bit warmer, but is it enough?

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    1. Rebecca we are just north of Battle Creek and I did start planting this weekend (mother's day weekend) because we too had plants that really needed to get in the ground.

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  9. Four to eight inches of snow forecasted for Mother's Day here in the Denver metro area of Colorado. I don't even think about planting anything until Memorial Day! We're hoping the best for the trees - they're already leafed out and this could be bad :-(

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    1. This winter has been so hard and long everywhere this year. Fingers crossed for you.

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  10. I didn't know that about spinach. Have to keep it in mind for next year! I can't say I'm a huge lover of spinach but I like to throw a handful into my smoothies. The more I can grow rather than buy the better!

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  11. Another great post! I am doing an aeroponic garden again this year, but have been dragging my feet getting it started. Thanks for inspiring me and others at the Creative Ways Link Party!
    Blessings,
    Nici

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to visit and read :)

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  12. I'm returning to let you know that I chose your post as a "Featured Post" for Green Thumb Thursday. Please feel free to grab the featured link. Thanks again for sharing.

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  13. Great advice! Thanks for sharing on The HomeAcre Hop! Hope you can join us again today :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Lisa! Already "hopped" by :)

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