My copy of "Square Foot Gardening" has a copyright of 1981 with no
earlier copyrights listed. It is about the 5th printing.
The book has some good ideas for using boxes, but we usually plant in
I have a book about companion planting that was almost worthless to
me. The suggestions for the paired plantings never matched in growing
times. Sorta like the things that people in California talk about
buying fresh or picking at the same time I cannot harvest at the same
Guess we have to take some of the ideas and adapt them to our climates
and garden sizes.
Good gardening references cite planting dates relative to the average
"last spring frost" or "first fall frost". That data is readily
available for everywhere in the USA (and I expect other parts of the
world as well), and allows the gardener to custom-time their planting.
Of course, year to year, that date will vary (unless you're close to
the equator ). I got totally screwed by an extended frost season
one year early in my gardening experience - killed nearly everything
I'd planted out the first time, then about two weeks later, got most
of what I'd re-planted.
Greenhouse, cold frame, heat mats, and cloches. All wonderful
Sorry, I must have glossed over the _mailing_ date stuff. Certainly,
non-seed plant material is a lot more fixed with respect to its
availability, and is generally going to revolve around the climate
where the seedsman is (or, alternately, where most of their market is,
quite probably including where they obtain their material from).
Heh, it's like stores selling swim outfits in the middle of winter
when you're out looking for a good raincoat.
Well, it's something like there remains only a 10% chance of a frost
beyond that date.
I'm north of San Francisco myself, and we've had an unseasonably high
amount of frost and freeze this season, where we might only get a week
or two (scattered out) of frosty nights any other year (though, last
year we had the "spring that wasn't" - first reasonably warm day was
the first day of summer). Such unexpected shifts in weather are why
greenhouses, etc are so useful. Artificially creating COOL weather
though isn't so easy (at least, not on a home garden scale).
I also hadn't picked up that this thread was specifc to one zone.
Overheating in greenhousea and cold frames is overcome through use of
automatic vents and/or thermostatically controlled vent fans. Cloches
and frost-protecting row cover are are a manual effort - useful to be
put out when there's an unexpected frost. One of these days, I'll get
prepared enough to fab some bracketing to make it easier to roll out
frost cover by myself when needed.
I fortunately don't have the "small space" constraint - my garden
isn't huge by many standards, but it does exceed the footprint of my