US First and Last Frost Dates

US First and Last Frost Dates

Growing Food, Soil & Compost, Starting Seeds, Weather, Year Round Gardening
USDA Hardiness Zone This information is useful for at least two reasons, to calculate when to plant seeds or plant seedlings outside in the garden to figure out how late in the growing season you can plant certain perennials, trees, and shrubs Dates on this chart are approximations, no one can KNOW the weather, every season is different. Most years, the first and last frost will fall within two weeks of the date on the chart, but some years, we get a very early frost or a late snow storm that throws the dates off. Please use discretion (and your local weather forecast!) along with this chart to plan your seed starting and planting. First, click on the map if you need to enlarge it and find your zone if…
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Summer Heat and Organic Gardening

Summer Heat and Organic Gardening

Year Round Gardening
It was nice while it lasted. The spring, I mean. If I had been one step ahead, I would have had everything planted sooner. Who could have known that it was actually May in March? I mean... really. I really didn't want to tell you all the drivel you can find on a zillion other websites about how to "Beat the Heat" of summer in your organic garden. We all know, mulch is our friend. Period. Water deeply and less often. "Easy." Water in the morning. "We know." I hear you all chime. My friend Theresa Roman had an interesting twist this year... umbrellas for shade. If it is wilted, water? There are two schools of thought. During high heat watering must be thorough and deep. If you can't water…
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Appreciating the Winter Garden

Appreciating the Winter Garden

Flower Gardening, Herb Gardening, Year Round Gardening
Two words bring together my feelings about gardening: appreciation and fascination. At the end of December, when time seems compressed and hasty, tasks are many and quiet moments few, the garden gives us time to appreciate a slower, gentler pace. Appreciation means, to me, looking closely at plants, sensing the feel of damp winter air, listening for a chickadee's cheerful song, and reveling in the serenity of a garden. My garden is on Capitol Hill in Seattle, surrounded by houses and city activity, but it offers quiet, a moment to sit in the copper-roofed rain shelter during early dusk and savor the silence falling into the earth along with rain. Touring a nursery will also provide a sense of calm, as you breathe in extra oxygen provided by plants in…
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May Garden Calendar

Flower Gardening, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Year Round Gardening
Wow... May already. Where did the time go? The gardening calendar for May provides a list of recommended food growing tips and <sigh>gardening chores. As I mentioned in the last calendar update, April and May, about growing organic food, more people garden in April and May than any other time of the year. Winter is over, the hot months of July and August are not pounding you.... it is just a fabulous time to be outside. The date of last expected frost has come and gone (for most). Consult the growing zone maps to determine your garden's date of expected last frost. Okay, okay, I said all that last month, I realize, but if you are far north, you are still waiting.... I realize.  So you northerners (I'm in zone…
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April Gardening Calendar

Flower Gardening, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Year Round Gardening
The gardening calendar for April provides a list of recommended food growing tips and <sigh>gardening chores. If you haven't started your organic gardening adventure yet, it is HIGH time! April is a wonderful time for growing organic food. More people garden in April and May than any other time of the year. Winter is over, the hot months of July and August are not pounding you.... it is just a fabulous time to be outside. The date of last expected frost has come and gone (for most). Consult the growing zone maps to determine your garden's date of expected last frost. Early in the month there is still time to plant the cool season vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, lettuces, greens and onions. (if you haven't already!) Corn and beans…
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March Gardening Calendar

Flower Gardening, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Organic Pest & Disease Control, Soil & Compost, Year Round Gardening
The gardening calendar for March provides a list of recommended food growing and gardening chores and tips. It is time to venture outdoors for some serious organic gardening! The biggest focus this month is, "When can I DO something?" If you have been asking yourself this question, the answer is a LOT! March is the month to really get started growing organic food. First thing you really need to know is the last date you can expect frost in your area. Consult the growing zone maps to determine your garden's date of expected last frost. To prepare soil for spring planting you need to know some things about your garden's soil. Do you know your soil type? Your soil's pH? Need to identify your soil type? You can also learn…
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Winter Garden Salad

Winter Garden Salad

Growing Food, Healthy Eating, Indoor Gardening, Organic Gardening, Year Round Gardening
If it is a bit early to begin growing seeds indoors for transplants for the spring garden where you are, you don't have to wait! Even if you don't have a greenhouse, you make a windowsill winter garden salad. You can eat it within weeks! Grow your own Micro-Greens! Use a window box liner with drainage holes as your container. You will also need a tray to set under it so you won't have a mess. Fill the box with soilless seeding mixture, lightly moistened. Don't fill too full or you will not be able to water without a mess Plant lettuce seeds. Be sure to use the leaf lettuce variety, not the heading types. You can even mix in other greens like kale, arugula, mizuna, mache or corn salad…
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Winter Blues Have Set In

Winter Blues Have Set In

Our Homestead, Year Round Gardening
Okay, it is official. I am tired of all the cold 'yard work'. The greenhouse is growing what it can just fine, the hay is covering the cabbage, brussels sprouts, and broccoli for the long cold days they are enduring... as usual for this time of year, the garden looks like it is waiting with baited breath for "her man to come home from war"... wondering what the outcome will be. Aww, that is just my guilt talking for the few times I've had to up and leave a well dug and ready garden just before it's time to work in it. Hate those times... This year is more like, I don't know if I will accomplish all my winter work in time to start the fun stuff in the…
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Garden Calendar Funnies

Community, Gardening Humor, Organic Gardening, Year Round Gardening
Okay, one of the largest sections of FarmHomestead is the Garden Calendar. I have looked at it so many times I am sick of looking at it. So I was wondering what other peoples' garden calendars look like, and I found one that just CRACKED me up... this guy (Eric Walker) is fun to read. He says... It is vital to understand that nature is not a factory, with timetables and a noon whistle: dates for doing things in a vegetable garden are, even for the greatest experts, at best guesstimates based on prior experience that may not be--often is not--applicable to this season. The weather data used for typical temperatures and such is the fifty-year data from the State weather-data-collecting station in Ritzville, Washington (State), which is a cool…
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Winter Vegetables

Growing Food, Healthy Eating, Organic Gardening, Year Round Gardening
We often see different vegetables at Thanksgiving dinners like the root vegetables rutabagas and parsnips and Brussels sprouts. If you have grown root vegetables in your garden this year, you can leave them in the ground and harvest them as you need them throughout the winter. To protect them from freezing, mulch them with at least an eight inch layer of hay or straw. Potatoes should be stored in the dark under moderately moist conditions to prevent them from drying out and turning green, 40 to 45 F is a good temperature. Store onions in cooler, dryer conditions. October Gardening Calendar Watering - keep plants, trees, shrubs and lawn watered to help them prepare for winter; pay special attention to new plantings Cleanup remove and dispose of weeds and diseased…
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