Are the cold temperatures that we have experienced in February giving you cabin fever?  Hang in there, gardening season is around the corner.  There are cool season choices that can give you an early start in the production of homegrown vegetables.  

The Mississippi State University Extension Service publication “Garden Tabloid” suggests the followingvegetables that can grow well in lower temperatures.  The list includes recommended planting dates for Pontotoc County. The start date is the first recommended planting date.  The end date is the latest recommended date to allow cool season plants to mature before the summer heat arrives.

Vegetable

Start Date

End Date

Vegetable

Start Date

End Date

Beets

March 3

April 5

Lettuce, leaf

Feb. 18

April 15

Broccoli (plants)

March 3

March 20

Mustard

March 3

April 20

Cabbage, Collards (plants)

March 3

April 1

Onions

Feb. 18

March 15

Carrots

Feb. 18

April 15

Peas English

Feb. 18

April 1

Cauliflower (plants)

March 3

March 20

Potatoes, Irish

Feb. 18

March 15

Chard, Swiss

March 3

April 15

Radishes

March 3

April 25

Kohlrabi

Feb. 18

April 15

Spinach

Feb. 18

March 15

Lettuce, head

Feb. 18

March 10

Turnips

March 3

April 20

Wet conditions can be an obstacle for cool season vegetable gardens. Excessive rain often delays disking, tilling, and planting.  This problem can be avoided by starting a container garden.  Containers including flowerpots and livestock feed tubs can be perfect options for shallow rooted cool season vegetables.  Drilling several holes in the bottom of containers improves drainage allowing vegetables to flourish.  If extremely cold weather arrives the containers can be moved to protected locations to ensure survival.  

Container gardening also eliminates issues related to poor soil conditions.  Most container gardeners should purchase their soil. The best products are light and airy and contain a high amount of organic material.  The products should be labeled as potting soil or container soil.  Look for a mixture peat moss, bark, coir fiber, vermiculite, perlite, and fertilizers. 

Don’t let the cold February temperatures get you down.  Make plans for a cool season garden to warm your heart with thoughts of delicious fresh vegetables.  

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