Even with snow cover, the pre-spring gardening tempo is beginning to accelerate. An hour longer daylight in the evening makes it harder to ignore the past holiday plants, seed catalogs, and winter is over soon stack of books. These are some gardening thoughts here at Plant Exchange Blog.
1. This local region’s average last-killing frost is April 27th – May 3rd, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Google the “last average frost date” for your zip code to find yours. It’s a guide for when to start seeds for transplant, soil readiness goals for gardens and flowerbeds, and a yardstick for the season’s plant projects.
2. Time to consider new varieties. First time ever in years of gardening, the cucumber vines in our garden had flowers but no fruit, while various beans and tomatoes bore produce.
Cucumber plants are monoecious, having separate male and female flowers on the vine, and require pollen transfer from the early male flowers to female flowers for cucumbers to form.
Some seed catalogs offer gynoecious cucumber seed. Gynoecious hybrid cucumbers predominantly produce female flowers, increasing the likelihood of pollination and fruit.
Parthenocarpic cucumber hybrids don’t require female plant pollination to produce fruit. With more production of vegetables in greenhouses and tunnels where pollination can be an issue, now more cucumber seeds that are gynoecious and parthenocarpic are available to gardeners.
3. Vegetable and flower seed packets are available locally with the most choices now, and incentives from seed catalog companies become harder to find later.
You’re invited to share your gardening thoughts so far for this season under “Comments.” Hope to see you at Plant Exchange Blog next week!
Your early hyacinths are beautiful – just like mine. I’ll be watching for the day they begin to bloom. Thank you for thinking of spring. Only 31 days was given on the news today.
I know it sounds silly, and I know I should be making the most of dormant pruning and planting during the brief winter, but even here, I must consider the last frost date, which is still several days from now. I want to divide some Canna! They start growing early regardless, so there may be no advantage in waiting for the last frost. I just want to play by the rules.