The weather has been too crazy. The plants in my yard have buds on them too early. A freeze may harm some of them. I hope my fruit trees don't put on blooms too early. I have a Mahonia that has berries and blooms at the same time. I have never had that happen. The mid 60's today. They say it will hit the mid 70s this coming week.
Ok, it just went crazy. I have fireflies in my yard tonight. I usually don't see fireflies til summer.
I'm basically ditching a spring garden with cabbages, peas and greens and aiming for summer produce. Not the first time I've done this. It's really about reading the weather and making an educated guess. Long, cool wet springs are great for cole crops, brassicas and peas. Tomatoes actually get strong and sturdy with cool nights around fifty and warm days. But when the heat starts early it's a mistake to push cool season veggies. They'll bolt and/or be bitter. I save the time, space and energy for a bigger summer garden and forgo the spring work.
It was 88 degrees here in Atlanta today--some of the trees don't even have buds on them yet. If this indicates what summer will be like, we may emigrate to Maine.
It's supposed to be in the thirties this weekend with highs in the fifties. I'd wait a bit before committing to Maine. Their growing season is crazy short!
It was 90 degrees in Lagrange Georgia today. From 90s back down to the 30s next week, how crazy is that. I still had some lettuce plants in pots and planted them out today. I guess I want have any peaches this year. I will not go out covering fruit trees. My Red Bud tree is blooming and full of Mason bees. I hope they make it thru the dropping temps.
We had no peaches last year. I have no idea why. We did nothing differently. It's not supposed to freeze, but be in the forties and as low as the mid-thirties. You are south of me and should be fine.
We have more permascape and native landscape in Atlanta except for raised planters and beds at the entrance. The lawn service people maintain that (though not so well). All the food stuff is in the kitchen garden which is eighty five miles north. One garden is more than enough for me to care for.
Spent the weekend working in the garden. Possible snow showers and ice in N.E. GA tonight.
I get your cilantro not surviving. It is biennial. However, chives are hardy perrenials. If they don't overwinter it is most likely a too wet or too mulched location, not the temperature.
We have "wild" peaches blooming well this year and Hale's Haven.
It's getting colder tonight so we will see if the cilantro and peach blooms survive.
smcatl : my daughter is in Vermont zone 4 and and I am in Buffalo NY zone 5b , My son is in Atlanta and I plan to immigrate there when I retire. I would love your long growing season.
You will find a whole new world of great gardening here. But, to be forthright, people from older, closer and established N.E. communities often have an adjustment when relocating to the more transient South. Having family already here will be a big help.
hollysmac: You're right: the long growing season is wonderful.
The summers are not, and they are getting hotter and hotter for longer and longer. Mercifully, that 88 degree March blast only lasted a few days, then the weather returned to normal. It was in the 60s here yesterday with a stiff breeze and the low 70s today. That's more like it!
Yes, but don't be lured into planting warm season gardens too early. It's predicted to be in the high thirties in the city come mid-April. My Atlanta "garden" is xerioscape or natives and the vegetables live happily in the more temperate Appalachian foothills. I yardened for many years in Atlanta but think the growing concrete jungle makes for a challenge if one is interested in vegetables. That said, the city is looking gorgeous in pro-landscape bloom and will stay that way indefinitely.
I have tomato eggplant and pepper plants on the porch in boxes. I've been bringing them in for the night depending on the weather. It still seems too cold to plant them in the ground but the date is right. You're right, weird weather.
Years ago I read that tomatoes can be improved by planting out when night temperatures are in the mid-forties. However, cool weather, with nights below fifty-five can permanently set back peppers and even more sensitive eggplants. I plant seed at the same time but plant out tomatoes two to three weeks before peppers and eggplants. Since my seedlings are here in Atlanta where it is a zone warmer I can harden plants off here.
I have had tomatoes, eggplants and pepper plants out for more than a week. It went down in the 30's one night. We will see how they do.
It was 43 here in the mountains last night. Cold for this time of year but warming during the week. I've got huge chard in Atlanta but small plants here. Tons of greens from six to ten year old seed. I've seeded sweet basil and have Thai Queen of Siam up. Boston pickling cukes are up (great for salads and canninig for relish) as is arugala. I planted Japanese eggplants ahead of various Italian types as they seem more cold tolerant. Only have ten of close to forty tomatoes out. I might go with thirty or less this year but they are all from seed. Planted Suyo long cucumbers yesterday. It's my preferred cuke for salads and fresh pickles. Planted five varieties of green beans today; more to do. Holding off on Southern peas and okra 'til it's a bit warmer. I'm three weeks late on everything. Most of the tomatoes are still in pots in Atlanta. I planted a few here this past weekend. Same goes for eggplants and peppers. It's just been too cold to plant out.
This message was edited May 16, 2016 7:20 PM
I hope you can get your tomatoes out soon. 43 is chilly. I put all my little plants (eggplant, tomatoes, peppers) out a bit later than usual last month but its a lot warmer here in Atlanta. I have some good size peppers already. The tomatoes too.
My green beans are growing but not close to producing yet. I think they need more warmth.
I waited to put my okra seed in since it was so cool in mid to late April. They haven't really gotten going yet and I think its because of the cooler weather.
It rained like crazy here very early this morning. I know that's going to help whats planted in the ground. Plus it refilled the rain barrels. I don't like dry spells. Since the drought in 2008ish a lack of rain makes me worry that it will go on and on. Disconcerting.
It's raining here now. So glad I stayed in the garden late and got more planting done. You grow beans! It's time to get back to Atlanta, drop off dogs and surplus food and pick up the food donation at Trader Joe's Buckhead (in the rain no less). This one goes to My Sister's House on 8th St.
Helen, I was envious when I saw the size of your eggplants. My babies are on a deck in Atlanta. A fancy watering system consists of a hose clamped to a saw horse and on a timer. I'm eager but patient because plants don't generally burn out here the way they do when the city heat cranks up. I've got a long season ahead.
I grow green beans. So delicious.
You are right. Everything takes a hit by slowing up and languishing during the bad heat in July and August. But often pick back up in the fall. I get eggplants well into the fall. Tons of peppers in the fall too. Last year I donated a bunch of peppers to the ladies day shelter after I filled up my freezer.
Notice how all correspondence has diminished after May. No mention of whopper tomatoes, etc. That's because it has been one of the worst Spring/Summers we've had in a long time. Temps were crazy hot that began in the Spring and got worse through thew season. Almost every gardener I knew said the same thing. Very little tomatoes and plant killing heat devastated their normal production. I don't know what happened but sure hope it doesn't do it again next year.
Can't say we are having the same experience. I'd think it's because our vegetable garden is in the more temperate N. GA mountains where we picked tomatoes in photo #1 yesterday and this morning. But we came back to Atlanta and I took the remaining photos in Sandy Springs right before posting where I tore out some hardscape in the only sunny spot so my grandson could have his first garden. My entrance planters now have chard, peppers, eggplants, basil, rosemary and cucumbers. Continued...
My seed grown tomatoes went in late but are sturdy and producing well despite being on the edge of the drive. There are big Black Krim, Cherokee Purple and Mortgage Lifter, medium Hazelfield Farm and small Sungold and yellow pear. He's only three and loves to pick and weed every day. His mom put up a little arbor next to the tomatoes. It's planted with rattlesnake beans on one side and yard long beans on the other. No insect control to date except for hand picking but something took a bite out of one tomato. All in all a good garden year and we still have lots to go.