I have been hearing mixed reports about the weather for the next couple of months. So I decided to look up the Farmer’s Almanac for our region. You can find it below at this link. And if you are not in my region, then scroll up or down for your own region. http://www.almanac.com/weather/longrange/region/ca/4 Here is what it said for Southern and Central Alberta, Saskatchewan, and parts of Manitoba.
MARCH 2011: temperature 0 °C (2 °C above avg.); precipitation 5mm (15mm below avg.); Mar 1-7: Sunny, turning mild (yay!!!); Mar 8-14: Rain and snow showers, mild; Mar 15-19: Flurries, cold; Mar 20-23: Sunny, turning warm; Mar 24-27: Sprinkles, mild; Mar 28-31: Sunny, seasonable.
APRIL 2011: temperature 2 °C (4 °C below avg.); precipitation 30mm (avg.); Apr 1-6: Snow, then sunny east; snowy periods west; cold; Apr 7-10: Rainy periods east; sunny, cold west; Apr 11-13: Sunny, cold; Apr 14-18: Rain and snow showers, cool; Apr 19-26: Snowstorm, then sunny, cool; Apr 27-30: Sunny, warm.
So all in all it isn’t looking to be wonderfully warm, but perhaps not quite so cold either! So now you may ask, why do we really care about all of this? Well, it is kind of important to farmers, thus Farmer’s Almanac, because it will help them do some planning on when to plant and what kind of weather they can look forward to. And for us, well we should also be thinking the same kinds of things. We should have most of our seeds ordered if we are going to order from catalogues. If not, do it soon. And we should be planning what kinds of things we want to have in our gardens to have as fresh food for the table, and food to put away for the winter months. Really, because of all of the scares of increasing prices on these fresh items, IF we can get them at all, I think it should be at the top of most of our lists to be planning our gardens and what we want.
What if you don’t have garden space? Did you know that you can do wonders growing vegetables in containers? If you have never done it, well just do a google search on container gardening, or small space gardening and the resources out there are limitless. You can also check out your local library on these subjects and I am positive that you will find a ton of books with lots of ideas. You may also want to check out square foot gardening http://www.squarefootgardening.com/ I know his books are at our local library. Amazing information for getting the most produce out of small spaces. This is one of my goals this year is to turn half of my back yard into a bunch of square foot gardens. More produce per square foot, less water usage, less weeds, and less bending. It is a win, win situation.
I do alot of container gardening. I plant all of my hot peppers (and that is usually alot) into gallon size pots and they grow awesome. The only thing with planting in pots is that if it gets really hot you have to water at least once a day, sometimes twice. The nice thing is if there is too much rain, well it will either drain out the bottom, or you can easily move the pots to a dryer location. When I go away camping or something, I just set up a sprinkler drip system and they seem to survive pretty well. If the weather turns too cold, I move my pots inside over night and out again in the morning. There is also alot less weeds this way. You can quite often find used pots, just ask around at greenhouses, farmers, or on freecycle, people are usually quite willing to give away their pots, but not me! 🙂
So your goals should be right now to be planning on what you want to have growing for fresh and for storage. Figure out the layout of your current garden space, or figure out which chunk of your lawn you are going to turn into garden. (Remember you can’t eat grass, well you can but Yuck!!) Get your seeds soon so you can be starting the ones that need to be started indoors. My kitchen over the next week will turn into a partial greenhouse for about the next two months. I love it! Don’t wait, just be proactive and have faith that if you get creative in your planting, you can only be blessed with a bountiful harvest.