HOWELL, NJ – In Howell, inflation, rising food prices and the nutritional benefits of local produce have spawned a new generation of home gardeners.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gardener, one of the most important dates to remember when planning your garden this spring is:
When does the risk of frost switch to Howell?
It’s April 19, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which offers a postcode tool to help gardeners figure out when to plant what.
The growing season lasts 185 days in Howell. Looking forward to fall, the first frost usually occurs around October 16.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, there is a 30% chance of a freeze occurring after April 16, as the date is determined using national historical ocean and atmospheric data from 1981 to 2010, and is not “etched in stone”.
October 16 represents the average date for the final “light freeze”, which occurs when the temperature dips between 29 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, tender plants can be killed.
A “moderate frost”, between 25 and 28 degrees, is destructive for most plants; and a “severe freeze,” below 24 degrees, can cause heavy damage to most garden plants, according to the almanac.
As the third gardening season of the pandemic begins in Howell, The Old Farmer’s Almanac offers another tool to help gardeners decide when to plant which crops.
In Howell, corn is best planted on April 19, potatoes between April 12 and May 3, and spinach between March 7 and March 29.
Here’s a look at other crops, and when the Old Farmer’s Almanac says to start planting them in Howell:
- Arugula: April 19
- Beets: April 26
- Carrots: March 29
- Chives: March 29
- Coriander: April 19
- Green beans: April 26
- Okra: May 3
- Onions: April 12
- Parsley: April 5
- Parsnips: April 19
- Peas: March 29
- Radish: March 15
- Turnips: April 12
Even before the pandemic, mental health experts pointed to gardening as a way to Dealing with stress.
Gardening provides physical exercise and promotes healthier eating, but it can also reduce anxiety for people who consider themselves perfectionists, said psychologist Seth Gillihan.
“Given the lack of control we have, gardening can be a good antidote to perfectionism,” Gillihan wrote in a 2019 Psychology Today blog. countless factors you can’t predict – insect infestations, bad weather, hungry rodents.”
With so much beyond their control, perfectionism is a waste of time, he said, so gardeners may wonder “why bother” trying to be perfect.