Rainy days and Sundays always get me down when I can not garden!

Monday, February 1, 2016


Hard to believe that groundhog day is tomorrow!
Our "Phil" of Phyllis?

And according to folklore, if  "Phil" see his shadow, there are 6 more weeks of winter remaining.  (Since 1886, the groundhog has seen his shadow over 100x).  So, if it's a sunny day on February 2nd, the groundhog will see his shadow and retreat back down his hole for 6 more weeks.  However, in western Pennsylvania, where the famous groundhog "Punxsutawney Phil" resides, the forecast is cloudy skies, which should mean no shadow, warmer days, and a early spring!  Fingers crossed!

Groundhog burrow entrance.
The first day of spring is March 20, however, the average last frost date is April 15, (April 7th has a 50% chance of frost, with April 23 having less then 50% chance of frost).  Some (cold tolerant) seeds such as peas, spinach, lettuce, chard, beets, radishes, carrots, and onions can be direct sown, weather permitting, in the garden, in March.  But you can jump start your spring garden by starting many seeds indoors, to be transplanted later, after the danger of frost or under hoop houses.

My growing zone is 7a.  Knowing your zone assures that you start seeds indoors, transplant, or sow seeds outdoors, at the correct time, based on your first and last frost dates and using the information found on the back of the seed packets. 

Groundhog day is about 10-11 weeks out from the average last frost date in my area.  Indoors, I have already started celery, peppers, and onions (seed) due to their longer growing requirements (12+ weeks). This week I will be starting kale, cabbage, head lettuce, and collards. 9 weeks out, I plan to start cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.  And towards the end of February, eggplant, flowering milkweed, and tomatoes. 

Not good.
   There may be snow on the ground, but there is plenty of gardening to be done in February!

And February 2nd, all eyes will be on a rodent named "Phil"!