We have had our first serious warm spring rain and the grass has that brilliant green. The yard also has that “I need my first haircut” look. Yes, spring is finally here and it’s already time to start mowing.
There are many signs of winter being over and spring settling in. I know there are about 3 weeks of winter left when the Canadian Geese move out of the swamp and onto the banks of the Conewango Creek.
And every one always looks for the Robin. I am happy to say that was about three weeks ago. Yes, spring is early in Warren County and I am one happy gardener.
So here are a few wife’s tales that many gardeners and farmers have used as guidelines for planting for many years.
1. It’s time to plant beets, lettuce and peas when the first leaves appear on the lilac bush.
The lilac bushes are just getting their leaves so these early season crops will be going in. One other tip for a more successful pea crop is to start the seeds in pots or indoors. Peas will sprout in the cold temperatures but more seeds will rot. By planting indoors you will have almost a 100% success rate. And as soon as the seedlings appear, move them outdoors.
2. Plant corn, beans, and squash when the lilac blooms.
Corn, beans a squash are part of the Three Sisters native garden and grow well when planted together. Besides growing well in a group they make a pretty and unique small space them garden.
3. Plant cabbage when the dogwood is in full bloom or when apple blossoms bud.
To control cabbage worms I place pantyhose on the cabbage heads when they are young. The white flies cannot successfully lay eggs so the vegetables stay insect free. This also works for Broccoli and Cauliflower.
And it gives the neighbors something to talk about!
4. Plants the first corn crop when oak leaves are the size of a mouse’s ear or elm leaves are the size of a squirrel’s ear. And to keep a fresh crop of corn all season long plant s new crop every two weeks. The size of the plot does not need to be large but you should have at least 4 rows of corn to get an even pollination.
5. Set out tomato transplants when the first ladybugs appear. (I cheat with my tomatoes and set them out earlier so I can’t verify if this is true of not.)
And if you live in the North East the spring weather prediction is an above average temperature for April and May with below rainfall. Unfortunately they are calling for a dry but cold summer. That means I will be growing under glass this summer.
If you have any interesting gardening folklore let me know.