Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Planning around your weather

We get a wide range of weather in Milwaukee. When you are gardening for the first time, you first step should be looking at your the weather. I searched through a few sites but this website presents all the data in a way that is straight forward easy to navigate.


After looking at the site it took me seconds to create this weather cheat sheet for my location. This won't protect me from freak cold weather storms in the spring, but it give me a place to start. I can see that should start raining in April, but May is a safer (warmer) month to start planting my garden. It also shows why my plant didn't producing fruit during the winter (not enough daylight). This data also allows me to see when i should start planting warm loving pepper plants vs my cold loving winter squash.

Weather Data from: http://www.rssweather.com/climate/

Monday, April 18, 2011

More than just frost

When I looked outside this morning I saw a layer of snow ....

I know for Milwaukee (Zone 5a) that our last frost date is between March 30 - April30, but really folks when is spring go to be here. I got suckered in by the the few warm 70f days in April and did some garden work. that week I setup the rain barrels (hope they don't freeze and bust), assembled the garden beds, started some seeds indoors, and even planted a small amount of seeds outside. 

I know there are 12 days before the end of April and I expected frost during some of the mornings, but not snow. Surprise snow is just another reason why a cold weather gardener should start seeds in doors. It is interesting that my onion plants, that are planted outside, are still green. Maybe they will make it. Grams says that garlic and potatoes are also 'rough tough cold weather fighters'.... maybe I should start growing some of those plants.