May has finally arrived, and many of us are very eager to get our gardens started. While I would love to tell you to plant away, I need to ask you to be patient.
Did you know that during the month of May the nighttime temperatures are only in the 50’s a third of the time, but waiting until June it jumps to 80 percent of the time?
This is very important when it comes to your vegetable garden and your warm-weather vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and cucumbers to name a few. So, don’t rush you can plant most tomatoes as late as July 1 st, but don’t worry you won’t have to wait that long.
Warm weather veggies need nighttime temperatures to be at a consistent 50 degrees, and the soil temperature at 60 degrees. A very easy way to tell soil temperature is to take your index finger and stick it all the way into the soil, if you can’t leave it there comfortably for a full minute you will not want to put your vegetables in that soil.
If you plant before the ideal time your plant will not be happy, you are not doing it or yourself any favors the plant will not grow any faster because you planted it early. It will in fact not grow at all until that soil temperature reaches 60 degrees, and it can also cause you to cut your vegetable yield in half.
If you just can’t wait to buy your favorites make sure you protect them from any cold nights we have ahead of us, remember May can be very unpredictable so pay attention to your nighttime temperatures until that last chance of frost is finally behind us.
Darlene Granese, Greenhouse Manager