Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dogwood Winter

We had a frost warning last night, which meant I had to go down and cover our tomato and pepper plants to protect them from getting frostbit.

I knew that "Winter" wasn't over yet, even though we're past the Last Average Frost Date for our area (Atlanta) which was March 24th, but in previous years I always waited until all danger of freeze/frost was past to plant, and then my plants were still babies while my great-Uncle was giving away tomatoes.  And then by the time my plants started producing, the weather would turn off too hot and they would stop producing.  (I only learned last year that tomatoes stop producing when the weather gets too hot.)

I heard someone say, and I assumed the same, that this little cold spell and last night's frost was what they call "Blackberry Winter".

For reasons I can't exactly recall right now, or because I just like to know about things, I googled Blackberry Winter to see what I could find out about it.

Turns out, I don't think this is Blackberry after all, but Dogwood Winter.

The "Winters" of Spring apparently start with Redbud Winter, one I hadn't previously heard of.
I believe that was probably the chilly snap we experienced a few weeks ago when we went for our hike and picnic at John's Mountain.

Following Redbud Winter is Dogwood Winter, which is what I believe we are experiencing now.

Only one of my (two) Dogwood trees in my front yard bloomed this year. I'm not sure why, and can't recall if that has happened before. 

The blackberries haven't bloomed yet, so I'm reasonably sure we're not there yet, and will have another cold - but not as cold - spell in a couple more weeks.

After that is Lindsy-Woolsy Britches Winter, and Whippoorwill Winter, but I don't believe that we experience those this far South.  Now that I know about them, I'll try to remember to notice if we have more cold spells after Blackberry Winter.

So, as I mentioned earlier, we've already planted our tomatoes and peppers. By we, I mean J and R did it, because I came down with a bad sinus/respiratory cold Monday night and felt like death warmed over on Tuesday....and Wednesday, and Thursday...

But we had already purchased the plants and it would be another few days before J was off work again to plant them and we weren't sure how they would fair living in their little nursery containers, although they had been living in them fine at the nursery so far...

I think (I my fingers crossed) we'll be glad for planting the maters early...but not so sure about the peppers.

Peppers, I believe, prefer hotter, drier weather. 
In my experience (which, admittedly, isn't that great) is that peppers take longer to grow than tomatoes. Most of the peppers that we've managed to grow, that I recall, were nearer to the end of the growing season than that start.

I guess I'm just not comprehending how to grow tomatoes and peppers together, at the same time, so I can make the jars and jars of homemade Salsa I've been attempting to make many years now?
But I know other people have done it, so I need to figure out what I'm not doing right.

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