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Today is May 23, 2022

Southern Gardening

A plan for the 2022 garden season

By Dr. Gary Bachman

A plan for the 2022 garden season

Mississippi’s widely variable weather means plants may bloom one day and freeze the next. Patiently wait to remove cold-damaged plants.

As I was thinking over the holidays about how my 2022 home garden will look, I was still harvesting heirloom tomatoes and various peppers from my 2021 garden. Can you imagine collecting fresh tomatoes and peppers on Christmas Day, let alone on New Year’s Day?

But that all came to an end when temperatures dropped from 78 to 35 with a 27-degree wind chill just after the new year. Now, I can get back to my 2022 garden planning.

While putting together my landscape strategy for this year, I was thinking about the garden in general and what ideas many gardeners forget about. So, here are a few thoughts to get started in 2022.

The recent cold weather generated a bunch of questions, primarily on how to protect landscape and garden plants.

I’ll address this again before the winter is over, but I want to caution against overreacting to potential cold injury. Be patient after a cold snap, as there is plenty of time to remove cold-damaged plants before the warm weather of spring.

Be prepared. Have a game plan in mind for what you want to accomplish in your garden this year.

Over the last two years, the garden industry has been stretched to the limit by the 20 million new gardening practitioners.

Plants and other garden essentials have been in short supply for procrastinating gardeners. In the past, there were always end-of-season sales as garden centers needed to move out last year’s stock to make room for the new. Those days are gone.

If you know you’ll need fertilizer and potting mix this spring, go out and start collecting those supplies now. If you wait to buy as you need them through the garden season, you are probably going to find empty spots on the shelves.

Another tip that I find useful is using plant tags.

I start each garden season wishing I could remember everything I’m planting, but I never do. Plant tags and labels are a must in my home garden. They can be as simple or elaborate as you want.

Through the year, I always take out plants and replace them with plants that have new colors and functions. I like to keep track of what I’ve planted and when. Now, I keep that information in resealable bags labeled by season, so I can easily track my seasonal plantings through the years.

I’m looking forward to growing, sharing, and visiting fabulous gardens with family and friends in 2022.

Happy New Gardening Year.

 

Gary Bachman, Ph.D., Extension/Research Professor of Horticulture at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. He is also host of “Southern Gardening” radio and TV programs. He lives in Ocean Springs and is a Singing River Electric member.

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