Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rain, rain go away.

It has been raining all day and flood warnings are on for the area.  This is a perfect example of too much of a good thing.  Even though this means a full rain barrel everything else is waterlogged.  The only things that could be seriously affected by too much rain (at this point) are plants in pots with poor drainage or anything planted in a poorly draining spot.  Some bulbs might get mushy, and some seeds or seedlings might drown,  but I haven't planted anything yet except a few scallion and spinach seeds that are under a plastic cold frame.  Hopefully that will keep them dry. 

In this are, that is Falls Church-Arlington, the last frost dates are between April 20 and 30. Things that need to be harvested before summer heat should be planted now.  That means you can start planting cabbage, beets, greens, carrots and radishes to name a few.  Traditionally garden peas are planted on St. Patrick's day, and that has worked for me.  Potatoes can also be planted now, but I would wait for the ground to dry before I planted them because they are prone to many kinds of fungus.  This year I plan to plant potatoes in bags but I am waiting until a bit later so that I can get the fresh seed potatoes from a local garden center that should arrive at the end of March.

As for ornamentals, it is best to not mess around with with any plants while it is raining because our hands and tools spread fungus.  One exception is on a drizzly day sowing seeds can work since then you don't have to water them.  And there is something in rain water that makes plants grow better than tap water. 

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