I'm sure this is common sense by now for most experienced permies, but I had an epiphany today.
I live in zone 8 in North Texas and I've noticed over the past couple of years that we'll have a dry stretch in the middle of the summer for 4-6 weeks. Highs are in the 90s (at least) and we have little to no rain. At some point, the weather seems to "break" it doesn't happen all at once, but we'll get a good rain storm again, temps will go down (they may go up again but mostly down). Now, here's the thing. The planting charts don't know when this is going to happen. The planting chart may say I can start this or that in mid August because sometimes the break has happened by then. Sometimes it hasn't and I'm spending a lot of time (and citywater) trying to get seedlings to come up. The point is, it's better to wait for that first rain before planting otherwise I'm just working against nature.
Thank you for coming to my observation talk. If any of you live in a hot-2-growing-season climate like mine and have a trick for when to start in the spring, I'm all ears.
“Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs” St. Francis of Assisi
Our weather is erratic this year so I am not following the book too closely.
I keep an eye on weather forecasting and plan ahead for direct sowing. In early Aug we got multiple rain showers so I sow daikon radish and mustard greens underneath corns. After I harvested the corns I cut the stalks off the ground so as not to disturb the roots. So far the veggies are doing great, the daikon roots are over 1" thick and I am anticipating a good harvest.
I also follow the volunteer plants and plant along side. After I harvested garlic in early summer, some bulbs were left in the ground. in mid Aug, they were already growing new leaves. So I started burying more cloves in ground where there were vacant spots. These garlic got longer growing time to form bigger scapes and bulbs next year. They are also evergreen throughout the winter, helping to trap fallen leaves in the garden area as a thick layer of mulch.
Here. Have a potato. I grew it in my armpit. And from my other armpit, this tiny ad: