I really have to wonder how long it will take me to get a grip on the seasons here. So far the springs that we've spent here have all been really different from year to year. Of course being from the Texas Hill country just having to wait until at least the middle of April to plant most things is pretty unnatural to me. There really isn't much down there that can't be started by mid-March whereas here in the NE part of Oklahoma the only things you are pretty safe in getting in the ground are things like broccoli and cabbage and onions.
Year before last we had a really early spring and had all sorts of things started that went on to do real well. Last year we were chomping at the bit and hand quite a bit planted planted around the end of March and the first part of April. It was also the year that we had one of those late frosts that surprised everyone by happening twice in the first week of May. By that time I'd already had the tomatoes set out. We were able to cover all the tomatoes by paying attention to the weather forecasts and didn't loose any. This year is yet again a different story. I'd planted 32 or so tomatoes a week ago. Up pops a freeze warning Monday night and Tuesday morning. So we drug out all the coffee cans, butter dishes, and odd and end planters to cover the tomatoes again on Monday afternoon anticipating the freeze. It must have gotten quite a bit colder than the forecast called for because we lost every single one of the tomato plants. It almost made me sick to my stomach. I had bought the tomato plants and they had been in the ground for a few days. I'm not sure which hurt worse, the loosing of the tomato plants or having felt like all that money was just wasted. Granted it was only about $12.00 but it's money that we can't spend again until the first of the month. If I don't do it though we won't have tomatoes this summer. Another thought I had was that if I want to have late summer/fall tomatoes from seed it's time to get those seed started in the greenhouse in a few days. I don't mind that since I was going to do it anyway. Learning from last year there are a few things I need to make more of and some I don't need to make nearly as much of. And of course there is always something new I'd like to try my hand at. Anyway.... it looks like I'll have to jiggle the money around and pick up some more plants after the first of the month.
Stuff happens! It's the perfect example of why I don't advocate buying those ready-made seed vaults. If you think that having one put back in your preps with the thought that if SHTF I'll just grow a garden and you've never gardened before, you are deluding yourself. First off many seeds will loose their viability after a year or two. Some may be good a bit longer but it's not something I would want to be counting on in an emergency situation. Along with that there can be quite a learning curve in growing a garden. Trust me, every year can vary wildly from the year before. The more you do it the better chance you have of having a good garden. Besides that, folks don't always think about the time from planting to harvesting averages out to at least a couple of months for many vegetables. Even then there are no guaranties that you'll have food from the garden.
So this year, if you've never tried planting a garden why not start now? Don't have a space for a garden? Why not try growing in containers? Do you like fresh salads? Pick up a cherry tomato plant to grow on your patio. Start some lettuce in a flower pot. Maybe plant a cucumber plant in a five gallon bucket. I like to call them salad gardens. Besides there is just something special about eating something you grew yourself.