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Location: Western NC

Safe to plant Zuc/Squash? - 7A Western NC

Hi, I don't have a ground thermometer to check our soil temp, but we are just starting to get temps in the low 80s all week. Its been in the high 70s prior. I believe I live in region 7A if I read something right? Western NC near Asheville? Anyhow - is it safe to plant zuc/squash (summer squash) now? I may wait 2 weeks to plant tomatoes and peppers. Let me know your thoughts! :) Thank you !! I just want to succeed and plant at the right ground temps.

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Soil temp is really the important variable along with how cold it is getting at night.

But if it is too cold to plant tomatoes and peppers, it is too cold for squash, which require more warmth.

However, my tomatoes and peppers are in the ground and I am in zone 6, so you may be being conservative on that.

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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:47 am
Location: Reno, NV

Do you have plants established yet? Or are you talking about planting seeds? If you have plants growing in containers somewhere inside, make sure to harden them off before planting them outside. Usually, for me, I just take the pots outside during the day for an hour or two each day. I do this for about a week and then they are way less sensitive. I've lost too many squash plants to shock after taking them outside, so easing them into it works for me. Those big leaves also get whipped around if it's windy, so if the plant is really young, don't plant it in a wind prone area!

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

USDA planting zones are based on average lowest winter temperature, which is a good indicator of what perennial plants and trees/shrubs can or can't survive.

For planting out in spring, I would be more concerned about last average frost date and the night time lows. As long as temps are staying mostly in the 50's or above you can plant tomatoes. They can take mid 40's and occasional low 40's with no set back. You CAN sow squash seeds at the same timeframe, but it can take a while to sprout depending on soil temperature. I've had some success with covering the spot where the seeds are with cut-off plastic bottle cloche.

It's possible to plant out tomatoes earlier than this, but you will need to protect the plants if cold or frost threatens. Successive daytime highs in the 40's seems to completely stunt them.

When the forecast lows are mostly in the upper 50's with no chance of falling down into the 40's -- usualy about a week later -- I plant peppers and also squash transplants IF I started them inside (which is very rarely). Squash seeds sown at this time comes up more satisfyingly.

To accomplish this, I start hardening them off about a week earlier. So tomatoes go out by day and in by night (or get extra protection but stay outside) while night lows are mostly in the 40's with occasional dip in the 30's, and when the tomatoes get planted, peppers (and squash) start the hardening off process.

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Greener Thumb
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

I'd just go ahead and plant 'em, especially if you don't have a soil thermometer. give 'em a chance to get situated before the weather in the 80's returns next week.

in general soil temps are a good deal warmer than usual, after a good month of early hot weather.

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