JayPoc
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How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

Looks like the forecast going forward has the night time lows now lower than the mid 40s or so. I'd love to go ahead and set the rest of my seedlings outdoors round the clock and turn my pool table back into a pool table. Looks like the next week or two should have daytime highs in the high 60s (on average), with maybe 48 to 50 for night time lows (on average). Sprinkled in there may be a day or two where the highs max out in the 50s with lows around 42 or so. Will temps like that be detrimental to very young cukes, zuchs, etc.? How about for well established peppers? I don't intend to put them in the ground just yet, just want to scale back on the work of bringing them in and out...

Thoughts?

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shadylane
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

The term used is "hardening off" I should inform you that your zucchini do not like their roots to be disturb so take care when transplanting.

https://gardening.wsu.edu/library/vege003/vege003.htm

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rainbowgardener
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

If they have been hardened to it, highs in 50's, lows in 40's probably will slow their growth down, but not kill/damage them.

When you start thinking about putting them in the ground, the most important temperature is the soil temperature a few inches down in the root zone. That should be at least 70 preferably a couple more degrees.
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jal_ut
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

Temperatures of 32° F and lower are deadly to cukes and squash. Other than that, don't worry about it.
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JayPoc
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

jal_ut wrote:Temperatures of 32° F and lower are deadly to cukes and squash. Other than that, don't worry about it.
Well...I'm gonna leave those suckers out there.....51 tonight, rainy and less than 60 tomorrow....still better than in my man cave at 69 degrees and fake sun, IMO...

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DryFlyRy
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

I am entering the same dilema. I started me squashes inside in peat pots as I know they don't transplant well otherwise. But man those things grow quick, I went 5 weeks before the gaurunteed last frost date which is supposedly may 24th for me. Temps during the day have been up around 70, low around 37 forcasted to get to lows of 41 towards the weekend. I would love to get them in the ground as soon as possible before they get to big for those little peat pots. any advice?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

Start them later next time? :) For putting them in the ground, the temperature that matters is the soil temperature, which needs to be at least 70. Otherwise they will be slowed down and also more vulnerable to whatever diseases and pests are out there (and squash is very vulnerable anyway!).

I start squash indoors no more than one week before last frost date, sometimes on the last frost date, so that the ground has time to warm up before they go in it. Some people just plant squash seeds directly in the ground when the soil is warm enough, since they are so fast growing.

Since they are in peat pots, you might be able to just peel the peat pot off and stick them in bigger pots.
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skiingjeff
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

OK, this was near to a question I was going to post.

Our weather is in the mid 60's to mid 70's during the day and the soil in my garden has warmed to 60 - 65 degrees but the nights are in the 40's with some dropping into the mid 30's and sometimes lower 30's. :?

Do I need to protect the plants at night because of the air temperature? I'm asking for the vegetables but also for my annual flowers. I"ve got my Kohlrabi, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts in the garden as well as some parsley transplants. I planted yellow bean and cuke seeds yesterday in the garden. I also have some bell type peppers that are producing flowers/peppers in my basement that I would like to get planted.

I've been putting all the flowers and peppers out each day for two weeks but have not left them out overnight because of the cool nights but didn't know if once they were in the ground, they could withstand the lower temps or not. Would I need to cover them once in the ground as well. If so, I'll probably wait because I'm going to be away the end of next week for a few days so no one will be around to put covers on and take them off. :roll:

Thanks! :)

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rainbowgardener
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

" I"ve got my Kohlrabi, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts in the garden as well as some parsley transplants. I planted yellow bean and cuke seeds yesterday in the garden. I also have some bell type peppers that are producing flowers/peppers in my basement that I would like to get planted.

kohlrabi, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, parsley are all cool weather stuff that is just fine, needs nothing. Seeds in the ground are just fine unless you would get a hard freeze (unlikely at this point).

Mid 30's is too low to bring peppers out in, but with your soil warmed, if the night time temps are even staying above 40, you could probably plant peppers and cover them in cold nights.

The things to most worry about are the squashes, melons, etc. Waiting a little more sounds okay except for the cool weather stuff. That should get in the ground ASAP, because it doesn't like it once it gets hot.
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jal_ut
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

Some people just plant squash seeds directly in the ground when the soil is warm enough, since they are so fast growing.
That has been my strategy for most things grown in the garden here. The exceptions are tomatoes and peppers.

May 5 is my squash and corn target planting date. +/- the weather. This is actually a little before the average last frost in these parts. You don't want them
to be up when that last frost happens. Of course it is always a gamble, since
we have no control of the weather. Some years we replant.

I really think squash is better planted, by seed directly in the garden where it will grow. Cukes too, though I plant cukes later than squash. They really like warm weather. Here its June 1 for cukes.

If you have the room, try the experiment. The day you plant your starts in the garden, plant one hill of seed the same day. Later you will be able to see if it was worth the effort to start them in pots and transplant them.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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skiingjeff
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

Looking at the long range forecast, if I plant stuff out this coming Monday we should have temps in the 40's and then 50's going forward.

Of course, we know the long range forecast is extremely reliable. :wink:

It gets confusing between air temp and soil temp. Many times when you try to read up on a vegetable, they mention only soil temp which leaves me hanging when the weather is like it is now. Sometimes the article just says "temperature" and doesn't indicate soil or air. Just wishing this was easier.

Appreciate the Info. :)

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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

I left my tomatoes out over night last week and they got frozen. The two youngest leaves are OK, But the rest are withered. I live in a cold pocket, so when Scranton is 38 degrees, my stuff can freeze. I think they will be OK. I would have stripped off all but the topmost leaves to plant them anyway.

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Gary350
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

Many seeds will not sprout if the temperature is below 65 degrees F. You can get a head start by planting cuke seeds inside the house in pots where it is warm. As soon as the seeds sprout put them outside every day for sun and fresh air. Bring plants inside at night if it is too cold.

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jal_ut
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

It gets confusing between air temp and soil temp. Many times when you try to read up on a vegetable, they mention only soil temp which leaves me hanging when the weather is like it is now. Sometimes the article just says "temperature" and doesn't indicate soil or air. Just wishing this was easier.
Just for the heck of it, yesterday afternoon, I took the thermometer out in the garden. The soil temp at 2 inches down was 72 degrees. At 4 inches down it was 64 degrees. The air was 58 degrees. So the sun on the soil (it was a sunny day) does warm the soil up dramatically on the surface. I think seed should germinate ok if the soil is 70° F at the depth of the seed.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

How about some natural indicators? I am going to say when the dandelions and apricots are in bloom it is time to plant corn, squash and other warm weather types. Wait a week more for cucumbers.

Every season is not the same as you all well know. The outdoor perennial plants can give you some clues as to how the season is progressing. Make notes for future reference.
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

Massechusetts, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, has perhaps a tablespoon of soil between the three states warm enough to plant curcurbits and squash before May 25.

Plant your radish, cole crops, and lettuce, before then if you are feeling brave.
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DryFlyRy
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

I moved all my stuff including tomatoes, peppers, squashes and melons, out in the hoophouse and all is well. The therm i have out there recorded a low of 40, but the hoop house gets so hot during the day that my guess is that the soil in all the pots warms up a good deal and retains that heat very well during the colder temps at night and everyone remains happy. I'll give them another week or so in these conditions before I move them outside. Image
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TheWaterbug
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

Release the hounds!

Image

My butternuts are emerging:

Image

as are the watermelons:

Image
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rainbowgardener
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

I don't know what that 97 is, but it didn't sound right to me, so I looked up LA CA weather


10 Day Forecast - °F | °C View the Detailed Extended Forecast »
wed thu fri sat sun mon tue wed thu fri
may15

P Cloudy
72°59° may16

P Cloudy
71°60° may17

P Cloudy
70°59° may18

Sunny
70°59° may19

Sunny
76°62° may20

Sunny
81°63° may21

M Sunny
80°61° may22

Sunny
76°60° may23

Sunny
74°58° may24

Sunny
73°59°
Details for Wednesday, May 15
Partly cloudy skies. High 72F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Evening: A few passing clouds. Low 59F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.
UV Index: 10 (Very High)

According to intellicast, you are actually in cooler weather than I am. It will be 86 here today and then in the upper 70's after that. But it is just as well. 97 would not be good weather for anything to be sprouting in to.
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TheWaterbug
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

It was really just that one day that was really hot. The rest of the week has been pretty normal.

My Kabochas are doing well, but my butternut squash shoot disappeared. It got buried when I watered, and I expected it to push through again within a few days, but it never did :(. Maybe it got slugged.

4 out of 5 watermelon hills also got nibbled. Squirrels may have been the culprit, here, as I see evidence of one plastic cage being dug around/under and then knocked over. The remaining cages have holes near the bottom for vines to go through, and they're probably large enough for a squirrel to wriggle through.

I may have to put on some of my row cover material and tack it down all the way around.
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skiingjeff
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

Well, I planted a few cukes before we left on May 9th - only one sprouted :(

So now I've replanted and it is warmer. I have also transplanted the summer squash and peppers into the garden. We are mostly having lows in the 50's with some nights in the 40's but so far the plants are doing fine. :)

I'll just watch the forecast for lows because some of these rainy days might drop and I'll have to maybe cover them.

At this point, I've shut down my seedling operation in my basement and all my transplants are either in the garden or outside in pots. Let's hope we don't get a REALLY late frosting.

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TheWaterbug
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

TheWaterbug wrote:My Kabochas are doing well, but my butternut squash shoot disappeared. It got buried when I watered, and I expected it to push through again within a few days, but it never did :(. Maybe it got slugged.

4 out of 5 watermelon hills also got nibbled. Squirrels may have been the culprit, here, as I see evidence of one plastic cage being dug around/under and then knocked over. The remaining cages have holes near the bottom for vines to go through, and they're probably large enough for a squirrel to wriggle through.

I may have to put on some of my row cover material and tack it down all the way around.
I'm thinking it some sort of flying insect. Here's my cantaloupe planting:

Image

See the chomp mark in the middle of that leaf? I would imagine a caterpillar-type pest would eat from the outside in.

So I covered my cages with Agribon and put soil all around, so they should be protected unless I've trapped the culprits inside. :shock:

But it's been nearly 3 days since I did that, and there's been no further damage, so I think they're safe.

My Kabochas are fine; I think they got big enough fast enough to outgrow the damage. Same (I think) with my Hubbard, which has finally sprouted.

So now I'm thinking my butternut got eaten by this same pest. I replanted a few days ago, so I'm hoping they come up soon.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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TheWaterbug
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

TheWaterbug wrote:My Kabochas are fine; I think they got big enough fast enough to outgrow the damage. Same (I think) with my Hubbard, which has finally sprouted.
*sigh*

Image

This is my Kabocha plant, and it's just about starting to put out male flowers. Something is chomping on it, and it's too big to cover now.

Does that look like caterpillar/insect damage? Or does it look more like peafowl pecking at it? I'm more accustomed to seeing leaf damage from the outside in, like the leaf just to the upper-left of center.

The big leaf to the right of center has tons of little holes in the middle, but no damage at the edge.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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jal_ut
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

I don't think that is peacock damage. Did you look on the underside of the leaves for bugs/ worms? Go out at night and look with a flashlight too. Slugs and snails work at night.
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TheWaterbug
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

jal_ut wrote:I don't think that is peacock damage. Did you look on the underside of the leaves for bugs/ worms? Go out at night and look with a flashlight too. Slugs and snails work at night.
I just checked the underside of all the leaves, and I see no critters.

I'll go back out in a few hours when it gets dark. With a flashlight. And a vengeance.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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TheWaterbug
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Re: How cool is too cool for cukes and squash?

The good news is that I didn't see any slugs, and I haven't seen a repeat of that type of damage.

The bad news is that the peafowl are definitely eating it now:

Image

The good news is that they appear to be growing fast enough to keep up with the damage, and they're starting to vine a bit:

Image

I think I have a couple of male flowers starting, too.

The cages will go right back on when the female flowers appear.
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