Appalachia Gardening

My Gamble Paid Off

seedlings in a greenhouse

The seeds we planted in the greenhouse are up and growing. I’m so pleased most everything we planted sprouted. I’ll give the ones that didn’t a few more days and then I’ll reseed those pots.

My gamble on planting spring veggies in wet soil paid off. All our seeds are up except the beets and it usually takes them a while longer.

The weather has turned unseasonably warm. The forecast is calling for up to 80 degrees tomorrow. It’s so tempting to go ahead and plant other parts of the garden, but surely to goodness Jack Frost will visit us a few more times in the coming weeks before he heads back up north for the summer.


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  • Reply
    March 27, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    I can’t wait to get started in our garden. I li e doing it. It’s stress free.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 27, 2020 at 11:27 am

    About 4 or 5 years ago I was at Bryson City for a Concert by the Blind Pig Family. I sat with Jim and his brother Don. They had the Concert in the middle of town at a Theater. Before the Concert started, Paul recognized me for calling Donna Lynn at our Christian Radio Station at Murphy and having their Records played. That made me feel good. I didn’t do it to get Recognition, but since our friends sung Christian Songs mostly, I felt led to put in a Request or two at 837-6200. Donna Lynn likes the local bunch from Brasstown too. …Ken

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 27, 2020 at 10:57 am

    Just got our tomato & pepper seeds in the pots! I have a small green house from Rural King for them. Last year I had plants up & growing when a strong wind blew my greenhouse over–I felt like crying! this year my husband has it attached to the porch with a bungee cord so maybe my little plants will survive.

    I have fewer tomato plants as I have a lot canned from last year. But no tomato juice so that is my plan this year. I’ve got some yellow & some of the chocolate cherry tomatoes (tometoes as Mama called them). Never had them before so I’m looking forward to trying them.

    We’ve got a large patch of wild violets that I just noticed yesterday. They are so pretty and I don’t think we’ve ever had more than a very few. Does anyone know how they get seeded?

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 27, 2020 at 10:10 am

    I don’t have a greenhouse so all my plants are in front of the dining room winder. My tomatoes are about 4″ tall but my cabbage ain’t growing so fast but look healthy. I planted some sweet pepper seeds about 2 weeks ago but they are not up yet.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 27, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Weather says it will be 81 degrees here today…now that just ain’t right! Good job Tip, as usual you are right on top of things. I’m predicting a bumper garden this year!

  • Reply
    aw griff
    March 27, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Jack Frost is alive here until about the middle of May but some years he is gone by late April. I used to plant salad peas in March but Dad didn’t plant his until the ground was warmer up in April. Mine would sprout weeks before his were even planted. Mine struggled in the cold weather and when his sprouted they would catch up with mine or at least very close.
    I’ve tried to rush the season with tomatoes too. That never worked out well either and the Early Girl Tomato isn’t that good to eat.
    I bought green onion sets a week ago but it has been so muddy I haven’t put them out.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 27, 2020 at 9:17 am

    Ah yes, the farming life. Hooray on the seeds.

    Your dilemma illustrates why dirt farmers are good practicing ecologists. They need refined judgment about both climate and weather (including microclimate), soils, pests, plant varieties, etc etc. Our soil temp in the top two inches will jump way up today into the range OK for cucumber, corn etc. But it will fall way below that tonight. I have not read it anywhere but I guess the real important number is the average of day and night. I found online charts of germination percents by soil temperature for lots of different vegetables that is handy. Some few plants, such as radish, are very forgiving – as we know. Others are persnickety. In general, germination is low in cold soils, best in warm and then low again in hot – just what we know by experience and folk sayings such as “plant corn when white oak leaves are the size of a mouse ear” because white oaks are the last oak to break buds even though there has been warm days.

    Our risk is of two kinds; spotty germination and/or frost bitten plants. The best result is if seeds “decide” to wait awhile and then germinate with perfect timing. (Seeds are smart that way by design.) My garden is so small that any quantity of seed I can get is too much so I take risks and plan to re-plant if needed. One year I planted beans three times.

    My garden is a wet mess also but I won’t be planting any more early season things. I hope to get tomato, pepper and a first set of corn rows limed and fertilized today ready to plant around April 10-15. The saying about having the garden planted by Good Friday is looking like it would work here this year. But definitely not in those years when Good Friday is in March.

    Sorry about the long dry ramble. Guess you all can tell I should have been a farmer.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2020 at 9:09 am

    It is hard not to plant in the garden when the weather finally breaks. I keep reminding myself that it’s still March. April usually has a few surprises for us before Old Man Winter makes his exit. I learned the hard way not to plant anything until after the first of May.

  • Reply
    Hank Skewis
    March 27, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Ah, dogwoods! There are a few here and there in CA but not like back East. They do grow wild in the Cascade range, big splotches of springtime white among the dense, deep green firs.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2020 at 6:20 am

    I don’t have a greenhouse yet but I planted some cherry tomatoes and squash, cucumbers in little pots out under my shed and all have come up reaching for the sun, we have a small stand of collars that are getting real close to picking, I use to hate collards until I married my wife, I think now I could eat a car tire with a little sugar sprinkled on it, sure knocks the bitter out of those collars where a feller can eat’em.

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      March 27, 2020 at 9:59 am

      You better be careful when eating tires. That wire in the bead will dent your dentures.

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