By Jannie Vaught
Today with sunny warm skies and a looming heavy wind and a cold front coming into side swipe us I had to turn on my water taps and attempt to hydrate the dust. Mainly the trees with leaves. I went to the Texas A&M website to have a look at what may be coming our way for spring. December was the “Hottest” on record in 130 years. We were casually joking about how warm is, whether you have on a coat or a light jacket.
While this was happening I was watching the soil dry to a point of concern. Then today with the wind which further drys everything I had to get some answers. I went online to Texas A&M to have a look. What was repeated was “Drier winter weather patterns expand drought conditions”. There is a map of the 12 Texas A&M Agri-life extension districts. You can have a look at this site and see there are plans being done for this coming year. As a small gardener, how does this affect my plans for spring and summer growing? It changes the design and plans totally.
Do you have rainwater storage? D
Do you have a soaker system with timers installed to direct the water to each plant?
What am I going to plant?
Drought and heat resistant varieties are #1.
And are we going to have early warm temperatures?
If the soil warms up and I can plant early with the possibility of having to use frost cover I am considering that as a “Fast Track” to get the garden in and get it harvested. This gets me to really research the day’s to harvest timing for each plant. This is on each seed package and easy to reference if you have the variety name. I did have great success with planting by the Moon and will continue to use this chart, I’ll keep the Framers Almanac close at hand for reference. We are close to onion planting time and here in our zone, we grow short-day onions. Again we are needing to be paying attention to our soils, our moisture, and how we are going to plan for the spring. It may be a smaller garden with deeper mulch to hold in moisture, the use of row covers for heat and insect control, and laying soaker hose under weed cloth.
Start now doing your research for growing in dry conditions and looking at container gardens that are movable and more water controlled. Such as Green Stalk. Planting potatoes in large deep buckets. Also, think about areas with partial shade as a better location for those tomatoes I have found this to be slower but I do get a harvest. And there is always the true enough experience it may rain and we could have a cooler spring but it is best to plan for conditions that are now. And that is” It is dry! “
We are planning for a dry season to come but hoping for some rain.
Growing Green With Jannie