This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Although calendars of garden operations are included in most horticultural periodicals, and some of them, doubtless, are instructive, it is questionable if they do not at times mislead many that are inexperienced. This is especially the case with that part relating to the kitchen-garden, written for annual, and even monthly, works; seeing it is compiled, as a matter of course, without any knowledge of the weather to be experienced. When following instructions thus given, the learner should use some judgment in the matter, and not, as I have before remarked, sow or plant at a certain date, under the impression it is absolutely necessary, or failure will be inevitable, simply because advised so to do by the "oracle" consulted. This season, especially, much discernment must be used, owing to the cold and wet state of the soil, which at the present time (Feb. 7th) is again being saturated with snow-water. In our case, even if dry weather be shortly experienced, it would be altogether a mistake to commence sowing or planting till March; and for our patience we anticipate much better, and quite as early crops, as any that might have been puddled in at any time previous.
Crops in the open are almost certain to be late, and for this reason pits and frames, with or without heat, glazed or unglazed, should be extensively used and utilised for forwarding many vegetables and also plants for the borders, by these means securing a supply of good vegetables, and also giving the outside crops more time to mature. Broccoli has been completely destroyed in many gardens by the late severe frosts, and I am afraid many Potatoes have been injured; therefore Cauliflowers and early Potatoes will have to be forwarded as much as possible. Autumn-sown Peas have also succumbed, which goes far to prove my argument that autumn sowing is a waste of seed and labour, and ought to be discarded for the better plan of sowing in boxes and transplanting, as advised in the January number of this periodical.