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Fighting Mother Nature | When to plant

when to plant

If you look up your growing zone you can see when your last frost is likely to occur. This date is not set in stone, obviously it varies, but you look for that date, look at the weather forecast and think, “OK, we’re out of the woods with frosts, let’s plant”. And for the most part that works out great. But in our case, we got a frost that zapped in out of no where. It wasn’t on the 10 day forecast when I planted. And, even though I protected my tomatoes, I left my eggplants, cucumbers, peppers, peas, and green beans to stick it out on their own.

And, there is a spoiler alert. When you go up against Mother Nature, Mother nature pretty much always wins.

Shockingly, my plants just grew so well they were so big and needing more light so I was tempted to put them outside earlier. In hindsight, an extra grow light would have helped me keep these problems under control for an extra two weeks until I could plant outside. But they started getting a little leggy and I was itching to plant. So I did.

I planted them in the garden without any protection. Right away we had some wind storms come in that almost killed two tomato plants. With the wind and a cold front moving in we decided to rig up a 5×50′ harvest row cover to give the tomatoes a little shelter and hopefully keep any moisture off them during the inclement weather and maybe, slightly, keep them a little warmer.

when to plant

The next week a cold front moved in and the forecast started with a 45 degree prediction, and then 40, and then 37. The 36 degree weather was damp and it was enough to take out everything that wasn’t under the row cover but the peas.

You win some and you lose some. I made a note in my garden journal. I will either need to purchase another light setup or I will need to plant my tomatoes two weeks later moving them to February 1st so they aren’t as large for the garden and difficult to manage. I will likely go with the second light setup so that I can get tomatoes as early in the season as possible.

Luckily, even though lots of the plants were killed above the surface, their roots stayed alive and healthy and some were able to regenerate some leaves and make a comeback. I waited two weeks to see what managed to live and gave a light dose of bone meal fertilizer to help things along.


Click Plant Grow is a blog circle celebrating the love of gardening through photos. Click on through to see Susanna’s garden happenings. 

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