Meet GardenTime

The young think time is on their side, the old know that time waits for no one. Yet time is a blessing to gardeners. Our upcoming sowing and planting “app”, GardenTime, has been designed only with you and your garden’s seeds and plants in mind.

Most new gardeners know what to do; they aren’t as sure when to do it. Our primary goal is to help you to nail down your killing frost dates.  Along the way, GardenTime addresses and solves a wide range of other time-related challenges.

The “judo” of gardening, timing works wonders for skilled green thumbs and beginners alike. Time favors even non-gardeners, or anyone who takes pleasure following celestial and earthly rhythms. GardenTime will interest everyone.

Judo focuses less on your body’s movements than on their timing. Watching and studying your opponent enables you to use his timing in your favor and control the match. It might sound unfriendly to compare seeds and plants to judo opponents, but it is not far out. You respectfully bow to each other before and after every practice routine and match. Winning feels great. But, similarly, losing doesn’t feel humiliating because opponents are respectful of each other.  Learn your opponent—plants and seeds—and you’ll benefit even when you lose.

Consider seeds. “Season” originates from the same word for “sowing”, as well as “seed”. Both philosophers and physicists agree that time is perceived by metabolism. Nothing is decoupled from time; a seed’s metabolic functions are dictated or induced by expressions of time, such as daylength. As it is with humans, so it is with plants and seeds. Sow some sunflowers or sweet corn and stand back. Depending on the weather they jump up within a week or two. Radishes pop up in a few days, “like hairs on a cat’s back”, as a veteran seedsman once told me.

On the other hand, sow seeds of lisianthus for cut flowers, or cyclamen and begonia for decorative pots, and take a ’round the world vacation. The first growth will appear in several months. (This is why we sell them as plants.)

Between the rapid and slow germinating groups are the tropical and sub-tropical plants:  tomatoes, melons, summer squash, dry beans, peppers, eggplants, petunias, impatiens—as well as the hallmarks of temperate zone food crops—”sugar” and garden peas, “snap” and green beans, carrots, beets, winter squash, lettuces, parsley and basil, to name a few. You can sow most of these both outdoors and indoors in many of the milder parts of the US, such as the low altitude mid-South.  The Brassicas—broccoli, cauliflower, et al—take a bit longer. In any case, they take their sweet time to emerge and bear their fruits, roots or leaves. But they aren’t slow—a couple of weeks on average to emerge as workable seedlings.

Indeed, time is sweet in late winter and early spring, from the human standpoint. Winter lasts a bit too long for most people. (I am the only exception I know—I love winter and hate to see it go.) It is dark, cold and, just before ending, very wet. Spring becomes a lovely musical instrument on which to play the entire scale of cultivated plants. Its onset resembles the slow opening notes of Mahler’s First or Beethoven’s Sixth Symphonies. Seeds grow, stems extend, leaves unfurl, buds pop, roots swell, flowers spread open.

A gardener is a combination of judo master and symphony conductor. To help you, if you’re new to it, or have moved to a different part of the country, or become rusty after a few years, try GardenTime , our new “sowing time management” app. Like an experienced family gardener, GardenTime gives you the precise time to sow either indoors or outdoors, and when to transplant or “set out” the indoor-sown crops. We base our killing frost dates on plants and seedlings on inputs from the industry as well as communities—and even Burpee customers—across the country.

No matter where you garden, GardenTime will tell you exactly when and how long you have to sow and transplant—the biggest stumbling block for new gardeners. You’ll use GardenTime to your advantage like a judo master, and direct your plant “orchestra” like a symphony conductor.

Most of all, with GardenTime, starting your garden—doing those first simple chores—will be as easy as the proverbial walk in the park. (In the spring.)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 at 5:33 pm and is filed under Original Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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5 Responses to “Meet GardenTime”

  1. Ruth Drysdale said:


  2. HotSauceJoe said:

    Love what you suggest, but gardeners as in Judo must work at their craft year round. Cold, wet, snow and even some times in ice-:)

    A true labor of love-:)

  3. Sara Jane Bowell said:

    Excellent idea! Especially for younger folks. Pass down the knowledge. Pass down the wisdom. Pass down the joy.

  4. Ruth Morton said:

    How do I avoid buying seeds from Monsanto?

  5. Jerry Pailer said:

    Since I am a very old gardener (73) and live in Georgia, this was excellent sage advice. I, too, love the winter. Thank you.

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