Zones Determine Planting Dates
Use the map and chart in this section to determine dates for planting vegetables in your garden. Use the map to identify the zone (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) in which you garden. Some Mississippi counties are in only one zone, while others are in more than one.
The zones are based on weather data for the median (most frequent) dates of last freezes (temperature of 32 °F or less) in spring. In some years the last freeze occurs earlier, and in some years later, than the median dates. The zones are listed at the top of the chart. The cool- and warm-season vegetables are listed on the left, and the recommended planting dates make up the body of information in the chart.
Beets, for example, are recommended for planting in zone 1 from February 1 to March 1. The starting dates are 4 and 6 weeks before the last median frost date for the zone for cool-season vegetables, and 2 and 4 weeks after the last median frost date for warm-season vegetables.
The cut-off date for planting cool-season vegetables is to provide sufficient time for the vegetables to mature before the heat of summer. The cut-off date for planting warm-season vegetables is to permit maturity and harvest before disease, insect, and weather pressures become too great and before cold temperatures in the fall.
Most cool-season vegetables can be planted in both spring and fall. This gives two opportunities for successful harvests. Most warm-season vegetables can be planted over a period of several weeks ranging from midspring to mid-summer.
Multiple plantings at 10-day intervals of beans, corn, peas, radishes, and leafy greens within the recommended planting intervals provide for successive harvests.
Some of the cool-season vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, spinach, and rutabagas produce better when grown in the fall. These plants mature as the weather is getting cooler, and they are of better quality and produce over a longer period of time.
With the summer season fast approaching, I’ve been getting questions about fertilizing, primarily concerning the types of fertilizer and how much to use.I’m glad to get these questions because garden and landscape plants need fertilizer to keep them healthy and growing. Fertilizing at planting helps trees, shrubs and flowering plants get established. It also promotes shoot and root growth, flowering, and optimum fruit and vegetable harvest.
The month of May signals that it’s time for me to start planting culinary peppers in my home garden.
As warmer weather creeps in, many people find themselves spending more time outdoors and working in their yards. If you’re like me, you’ve probably made a trip or two to your local garden center looking for plants and other garden necessities. After reading over May’s garden checklist, it looks like you may need to make a few more trips. Here are some tasks to check off this month.
Mississippi’s long growing season means potential gardeners have until at least July to start growing vegetables, but the state’s ideal gardening climate also means weeds and pests are constant threats. Gardeners often grow flowers in containers to add pops of color and spots of greenery in otherwise unworkable areas, and they can be equally successful using containers to grow vegetables.
If you read this Southern Gardening column frequently, you realize that I grow much more than pretty flowers in my home garden. Besides ornamental plants, I love to grow vegetables that my wife and I can enjoy for dinner.