Spring arrived at least two weeks early in these parts; the last day of winter warmed to 81 degrees F while the vernal equinox was 20 degrees cooler. That's March! ...And the Upstate, SC. These peach blossoms are almost finished, and dropped their petals during a quick Saturday afternoon thunderstorm. We received 0.7 inches of rain with hail stones 1/2 inch in diameter. Apple trees have finally broken dormancy.
With all our cool weather crops in, it's time to finish seed-starting indoors focusing on tomatoes and other warm-weather crops. (No one is neutral about okra: people either love it or hate it, and we reside firmly in group B... unless the taste is buried in frying batter, but then what's the value? You won't find it in our garden. But, I digress.)
I find small, 4-week-old seedling tomatoes transplant into the garden much easier than lanky 8-week-old plants, so I'm really not a procrastinator or behind schedule. People who follow package directions to start tomatoes indoors 8 weeks before last frost will find their plants need staking before they get to the garden. We use tomatoes in everything, so we plant enough to can for the winter--Roma for sauces, Beefsteak for summer BLT sandwiches, Brandywine and others for multiple uses.
Spinach sprouts in the garden row.
Indoors peppers, broccoli, and herbs have all sprouted; outdoors carrots, onions, peas, and spinach have sprouted. All remaining crops will be direct-sowed into the garden in April after the permanent arrival of warm weather. Still saving those empty milk jugs? They will come in handy in a couple weeks as mini greenhouse covers for broccoli transplants. Plum and cherry have finished bloom, while raspberry and blueberry are leafing out. Happy Spring, y'all!