Winter May Be Over, But…. The Danger of Planting Too Soon
Winter may be officially over, but the cold weather is here to stay – for a bit longer, that is. Although you may be excited to begin your summer veggie garden, try not to plant too early. Without the proper lighting, warmth, and soil requirements, your plants will not have a fighting chance at survival. Summer vegetables including melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants will not grow if they touch frost. Use caution when you begin planting these early springtime vegetables.
The average last frost ends around April 15th; which is why we shouldn’t begin planting until approximately May 1st. However, if you have already begun planting cool weather veggies such as lettuce, carrots or radishes, you can put a sheet or frost cover over them at night so they keep warm.
“You could start to do some warm summer annuals and sit them up on the porch at night to get used to being outside and under cover. Then as we start to see a sign of 60’s at night and up we can go a little further and then eventually put them in the ground.”.
Of course, you can always get a jump start on the gardening season by setting up a mini window greenhouse; or planting using an Earth Box, for example, which is a ready-to-grow box system that you can begin indoors and transfer later.
Below is a general guide of Early Spring vegetables you can begin planting (courtesy of Organic Authority):
Vegetables to Begin After Last Frost:
- Cucumbers—Will taste sweeter if you plant near sunflowers!
- Summer and winter squash—Start winter squash indoors no more than 3 weeks before moving to garden.
- Peppers—Start indoors 8 weeks before moving outdoors
- Tomatoes—Start indoors 6-7 weeks before moving outdoors
Fruits to Begin After Last Frost:
Herbs to Begin Growing: