Springtime Weather Changes
When springtime approaches, we all start to feel that things are about to change. For those of you living in temperate climates and going through all four seasons, this change of seasons will breathe fresh life and vigor into your garden after a few dull months of carbohydrates and hardy staple greens. To prepare for spring, you should get started on a diversity of seedlings to be sown in the newly warm earth. Once the ground is thawed out and the air temperature does not budge below 16C, early spring becomes the ideal time to grow:
• Herb garden favourites
• Leafy greens
• Water-dependent plants that like cool nights such as tomatoes
When you step outside in the morning, does the air still carry the chill of an overnight frost? When the cooler weather lingers, invest in large plastic sheets or agricultural fleece to cover up your young plants and trap in some daytime heat. Agricultural cloth is more breathable and comes with the added benefit of protecting plants against pests.
One morning you will step outside and be greeted with warm rays of sunshine, green everywhere, and no hint of chill or frost. Congratulations, spring has officially sprung! Warmer weather vegetables and fruits can go in the ground and really flourish. Wait until it’s warm to plant:
• Lettuce greens
• Squash and Zucchini
• Sweet Potato
As for me, I can’t wait until Spring is really fixed in the air. It’s not as hard to get out of bed for an early morning run to start the day. From September to November on the Sunshine Coast we’ll be caught up in the start of the transition from dry to wet season. Who knows what the storms, winds, and rainfall levels will look like from around October onwards this year in our region? It always feels fickle to me, and facing the unknown comes with its own set of challenges. One notable struggle is with the constantly humidity – just one more reason why I’d prefer to be outdoors working on my land as opposed to aggravated and sweating indoors.
Rather than growing a diverse crop, I rely on sturdy, resilient plants to get me through. By late July I already will have a small starter tray in the greenhouse with the following spring seedlings ready to be planted as soon as the weather changes to warm:
• Sweet Potatoes
I strongly recommend trying a corn crop as it is not too sensitive about fluctuations in rainfalls and can handle being buffeted by the occasional spring storm.
Now, I’m no housewife but I am a strong proponent of spring cleaning. Winter (or dry season) may not have been your most active time in the garden. Now is the time to feel engaged again. Get your hands dirty! As with any seasonal change, you’ll need to straighten up your land by pruning back any plants damaged by frost, raking up debris, pulling weeds, clearing out old crops, fertilising, composting, and turning over soils to aerate them.