JayPoc
Greener Thumb
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:00 pm
Location: Virginia, The mountains Zone 6a/6b

Sigh....my yearly dilemma

It's so hard to grow "spring stuff" here. If you haven't plant by now, stuff won't mature before being ruined by the heat. If you have planted, there's a decent chance you'll lose some or all to the cold.

After several weeks of lows no lower than 30ish, looks like Saturday night might do me in. Right now, the low is projected to be 22, and it's trending downward. I've got 120 onions, collards, two types of kale, and two big beautiful rows of peas all in the ground. I've got other stuff that I can bring in doors, and I have "back-ups" for the collards and one of the kales still in trays, although not the same number I have planted out. The onions and peas I'd have to start over from scratch, and especially for the peas it will be pretty close to too late.

I wouldn't sweat it if Friday's low in the high 20s was the worst it would get, but the low 20s/teens scares the crap out of me. I'll cover the best I can, and hope for the best. Sigh...every year....lol...

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11392
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

I'm glad I don't have that dilemma. It gets hot here up into the 90's and in some places the low 100's around August. Some things are seasonal here, but nothing in the extreme end of things. No snow and by selecting tropical cultivars and planting some things in cooler weather, I can pretty much grow year round.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

JayPoc
Greener Thumb
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:00 pm
Location: Virginia, The mountains Zone 6a/6b

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

imafan26 wrote:I'm glad I don't have that dilemma. It gets hot here up into the 90's and in some places the low 100's around August. Some things are seasonal here, but nothing in the extreme end of things. No snow and by selecting tropical cultivars and planting some things in cooler weather, I can pretty much grow year round.
The neat thing is that even as extreme as the climate here can be, I still have stuff than can over-winter. Kale and Collards have both come back for me in the spring, even after many days where the lows are below zero, and periods of days where the highs never get above freezing. The kale looks just terrible, and the collards die back to the roots, but a good portion of it survives and comes back in the spring.

Still though, my tiny seedlings won't be nearly as hardy. :(

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

but even the seedlings of those cool weather crops can be pretty darn tough, if hardened off. Mine have been through some low 20's already and we have two more nights of low 20's in the forecast (sigh...). Does slow them down some, especially since we haven't had much sunshine, cloudy, rainy, overcast.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27977
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

Are you planning to cover them, JayPoc? I think I would want a low light duty hoop tunnel and use a floating row cover AND slightly higher sturdier hoops to support a plastic cover. If in teens, maybe even double layer plastic.

I've been trying to put up some hoops, but keep running into FROZEN ground. Yesterday and today, it's raining buckets. This will thaw the frozen ground, but will turn my (also) clay soil into sloppy muck -- not really good to walk on and probably won't support the hoops. :roll:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

JayPoc
Greener Thumb
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:00 pm
Location: Virginia, The mountains Zone 6a/6b

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

yeah, I'll try to cover them best I can. I have some old blankets, plastic sheeting, and various buckets and containers. Fortunately the period of extreme cold looks to be fairly brief. The following nights will be well above freezing...right the project low tonight is around 25, and tomorrow night around 19....

User avatar
Jai_Ganesha
Full Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

It's the same here in Kentucky. It's gonna be in the upper 10s or low 20s a few times in the next few nights. My peas are small, my radishes are small, and my poppies are tiiiiiiny. I'm gonna cover them all and pray.

That's all you can do.

And by June it may well be 100º.
You cannot believe in anything until you believe in yourself. --Swami Vivekananda

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11392
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

I find it interesting that you have such extremes. Your highs are much higher than mine too, but it must be dry heat. The humidity while the bane of most people in summer actually keeps the temperatures down in the high 80's most of the time and the ocean and trade winds at least keep it bearable.

It actually needs to get cold enough during the winter months for some trees to fruit well, Lychee, apples, pears, apricots, and persimmons need to have a minimum winter chill to fruit. Those fruit trees are low chill varieties and most will only fruit in the coldest locations. Conversely a good lychee year usually means a poor mango year. Mango fruits better with warm winters. Avocado, doesn't seem to care. What matters is how many blossoms and baby fruit will survive the windy season and the thieves.

I grow kale and collards and they just live through, but though they are biennial and I have had some a long time, they have so far never bloomed. I don't grow too much collards, most people here are more interested in kale, but there was this one gentleman who was so happy to see the collards he remembered eating as a child. Too bad, since collards actually do better in the summer heat.

While you can keep carrots in cold storage in the ground, mine will get woody and bitter. I can only grow carrots in the cooler months when the day temperatures are about 70.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

JayPoc
Greener Thumb
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:00 pm
Location: Virginia, The mountains Zone 6a/6b

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

Well, a short follow-up.

It was forecasted to get down around 27 Friday night, so I didn't cover anything. It actually got down to 21! I was aggravated enough by that that I didn't bother covering the next night (it got down to 18). Once it thawed out yesterday mid-day, everything *looked* OK, with the onions looking the least OK of all. We'll have to see how things look in a few days, I suppose. I'll drop by later in the week for a final update. The onions had only been in the ground about a week, and they were just starting to wake up a little...the immediate future looks great weather-wise...

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

Here in zone 5, our last average frost date is mid May. The cool weather stuff, onions, cabbage, radish, lettuce, etc. I plant as soon as the snow is off and the ground is dry enough to get on. Might be mid March or early April. Yes, its going to freeze a few times after planting, but these things seem to have some frost resistance and usually make it fine. I never cover these things, just plant and let them go.

I plant corn, beans and squash May 5. Cucumbers June 1. Set out tomato plants June 1. Sometimes end up covering tomatoes toward the end of the season if they are not quite done and frost is predicted.

I have seen frost every month of the year here at this altitude, but we just plant and hope. Sometimes we get bit, but usually have a good crop. Sometimes have to plant a second time. The key is to PLANT.

Yes, you can plan on a few failures, it is part of the gardening game. There are many things that oppose us, disease, foul weather, insects and other pests, deer, rodents etc. But for sure we can not succeed if we don't PLANT!

Have fun!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

fourfortytwo
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:43 pm
Location: ZONE 4B cental maine

MUD SEASON ATTACKS!

Here in Central Maine, especially my property (it seems in my head anyway), especially this year, we have had crazy amounts of snow - 22", then 18" two days later, then 10" three days later, etc. This continued for most of January till close to the end of February. I'm using raised beds I can't even get them situated, I still have a 12-16" snow pack, as of today, mud season looks like it may go into late may. I can't imagine doing transplants till june 1st, or after.
Zone 4B, Maine. Approx. 124 day growing season, 50% frost-free certainty May 14th-Oct 1st. Ten 4'x8'x15" raised beds with PVC hoops attached with lightest weight row cover/bird netting/30% shade cloth, depending.

User avatar
Jai_Ganesha
Full Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

imafan26 wrote: it must be dry heat. The humidity while the bane of most people in summer actually keeps the temperatures down in the high 80's most of the time and the ocean and trade winds at least keep it bearable.
A few years ago, further east in Kentucky but closer to the OP, we had 105º and 90% humidity. It was terrible. Several people who lacked air conditioning actually died.

Needless to say, vegetables stop producing when it gets that hot (and muggy) and stays that was for weeks.
You cannot believe in anything until you believe in yourself. --Swami Vivekananda

User avatar
digitS'
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3549
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:10 pm
Location: ID/Wa! border

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

I'm curious how your garden plants are, JayPoc.

An overnight temperature of 18º is fairly severe. Especially, after there had been weather warm enough for some active growth.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

JayPoc
Greener Thumb
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:00 pm
Location: Virginia, The mountains Zone 6a/6b

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

digitS' wrote:I'm curious how your garden plants are, JayPoc.

An overnight temperature of 18º is fairly severe. Especially, after there had been weather warm enough for some active growth.

Steve
I think all the peas survived for now, but a few suffered pretty severe damage right around the soil line. I think I'll ultimately lose those, and that's probably about 15-20% of them. The red kale looks really bad, but the collards look mostly ok. I have fill ins to replace those as needed. Turnips are bad, carrots I'm not sure. The onions...a few are definitely dead, but still in wait and see mode on the rest .

User avatar
digitS'
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3549
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:10 pm
Location: ID/Wa! border

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

I'd like to think that you can just keep right on, keeping on, JayPoc.

Flexibility, adjust and adapt - they are more than cliches in the game of life for the gardener.

Those folks in higher elevations are especially challenged by variable temperatures. Ups and downs ...

Here is Wishing You the Best of Luck for the remaining weeks of spring and through your growing season.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

JayPoc
Greener Thumb
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:00 pm
Location: Virginia, The mountains Zone 6a/6b

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

digitS' wrote:I'd like to think that you can just keep right on, keeping on, JayPoc.

Steve
Oh, for sure. Just a bit annoyed at the moment. Once it becomes clear what is and isn't going to make it in the rows of peas, I'll move some around to fill the gaps and condense the rows. Same deal with the onions...I'll thin (use for green onions) the worst areas to make way for something else. I have no problem having a lettuce plant growing in a hole in the onion rows. I already have more started than I have space to grow them...thanks for the good wishes. Same to you (and everyone)!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27977
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Sigh....my yearly dilemma

There ya go! Flexibility -- not straight rows and mass planted beds -- AND you have polyculture that will confuse the pests. :D
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”