Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thinking green, as in gardening!

Despite yesterday's high of 17 degrees Fahrenheit, and low of 3 below, I've got a case of spring fever.  What brought my fever on was a book I recently purchased "Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook" by Ron and Jennifer Kujawski.  They provide a wonderful list of things to do throughout the year to stay on schedule with a vegetable garden.  Each of the chapters has a place for the person who owns the book to fill in their activity date relative to the average date of last frost. Suggested gardening related activities are recommended based on these dates.

e.g.  My date: (Feb 19th)  10 weeks before average date of last frost.
       Recommended activities include:
  • Sow seeds in doors for later transplants: broccoli, kohlrabi, and cabbage
  • Store leftover seeds in cool, dry place
  • Tune up power equipment
I was surprised to find the average (mean) frost-free date for Minneapolis to be April 30th (c/o National Climatic Data Center).  However it isn't until the third week of May that there is less than a 10% chance of frost c/o MN DNR Climatology Office state map.

One of the pre-gardening season recommendations  in the book is to build a cold frame. A variety of cold frame plans are available for free on the web.  I've saved a large tempered glass shower door from our old home that could be ideal for this purpose.  It has literally been lying around for 12 years, so I would love to finally reuse it for such a worthwhile purpose.  I also have some lumber that I've stored, left over from various projects, that could be utilized for a cold frame.

This afternoon I will be meeting with volunteers from 4-H to talk about developing a vegetable garden at our church.  Spring will come!

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