Sunday, January 27, 2013
If you have noticed that plants stop growing in the winter, whether indoors or out, you would be right. It is not just the temperatures that affect this slow down. It is the amount of sunlight.
Basically, plants go dormant when receiving less than 10 hours of daylight. For my latitude, this is from November 17-January 24. You can look on the weather channel to see when your daylight hits 10 hours.
When planting in the fall for winter crops, you need to plan that they are at full, harvestable size by November 17th. They will remain this size until the end of January, when they begin regrowing.
Growth starts back up at the end of January, for indoor and outdoor plants. The lettuce, chard, sorrel, cabbage, kale, celery, and herbs that have overwintered will start growing with vigor again after this time with clear days and warmer temperatures.
You can scatter sow seeds now of cold hardy crops and they will be primed for the longer days. It is surprising to see the little greens popping their heads out in February. The force of life is amazing.