Normally I would say that all of this warm weather has us itching for a great spring but then I think, “What warm weather!?” We have hardly even experienced more than two days in a row of spring-like weather. As I recall, April is the month for spring and early garden plantings such as onions, potatoes, lettuce, carrots, beets, etc. as well as beautiful blooming pansies and violas. The spring bulbs should be showing off their reds, pinks, yellows and blues but I barely see much growth.
Is this an indication of what’s to come? I really enjoyed the cooler summer we had last year, and so did most of the flowers. However what’s good for some is not so good for others, particularly tomatoes and peppers. These two fruits, as well as many other vegetables like and need a warmer season for best production. I guess you can’t have it both ways.
In gardening, what’s right one year may be totally different the next. I guess all that you can do is to try and grow your plants based on a “normal” year and simply hope for the best. Always be prepared for the unexpected by placing containerized plants near the garage door until you are certain of frost-free conditions. You can then slip them inside if the weather turns bad or you can move them to their proper place in your landscape when you feel safe. Be ready with large sheets for brief episodes of over-night frosts, sometimes three or four nights in a row. It is important to know that covering your plants usually means waiting until 9:00 or 10:00 at night due to the fact that the winds usually die down late in the evenings. I have been known to cover as late as 2:00 or 3:00 am because of winds. The coldest temperatures and frost usually hit between 3:00 am and 7:00 in the morning.
When you feel the need to cover your plants, it is important to note that you must uncover them each and every morning. Leaving the cover on all day can cause over heating in the sun, or smashing, and breaking your plants, due to unexpected rain pocketing on the cover while you’re at work. The key word for weather is “unexpected”. Always be ready for anything.
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