Tomorrow marks the first day of 2012 with total daylight being more that 10 hours here in northern Utah. Officially we will have 10 hours 6 seconds of daylight.
This officially marks the end of what winter gardening expert Elliot Coleman calls the Persephone months. The Persephone months are the 3 months roughly from November 1st to January 31st where those of us in the northern parts of the northern hemisphere have less than 10 hours of day light. (See my post back in the late fall to learn more about the story of Persephone).
So what does that mean for gardeners? Several exciting things!
- The most important aspect to the return of 10 hours days is that things will start growing again. Those of us willing to fight the elements with cold frames and hoop houses will start to see a marked increase in the rate of growth of those things still alive under protection.
- If you haven’t done so already it is time to give some serious thought to your 2012 gardening plans. Even if you don’t use season extending protection the time to plant the first early spring crops is approaching quickly.
- The rush will soon be on to get your seeds bought. If you act now your will be sure to get everything you needed. I noticed yesterday that my local farm supply store where I buy most of my seeds has the seeds racks up and full!
- If you are planning on starting your own seedlings indoors this year you also need to get a plan going on those. If you plan on growing crops like lettuce and other greens, onions, Cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi and kale), chard and leeks will all need to be started very soon depending on what zone you live in. I already have lettuce going and plan on starting Cole crops this week.
So the “lazy days of winter” are almost over. As the sun returns it’s time for gardeners to wake up and get a move on!!