Plants suffer in 21°F weather/changes for the better by Friday April 17

Well, almost all my tulips bite the dust with the cold weather but these pictured above lifted up their heads and survived. At least I got about two weeks of glorious color to brighten my days before this latest cold snap and they will come back every year.

Looks like the weather will get above freezing from Friday nite April 17th when it is suppose to be 38°F to Saturday April 25th. But this is not carved in stone. As the saying goes here, if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes.

Everybody needs to become a weather bug to see what is happening as the weather can change day by day and sometimes even hour by hour. I call this the ‘shoulder season’ where one day it is warm and sunny and the next day/nite cold and freezing and always windy here in spring. These are our springs-ever changing but of course then June will come and we will get too hot! It is way to soon to plant any warm season crops yet. To be safe, wait till May 15 and later.  Last year we got snow on May 27 and the year before I was able to put out my tomato plants on May 7 in Wall of Waters. If the late spring weather really warms up or if you are a gambler, you may be able to plant warm season crops earlier but not without some protection. Otherwise you may be replanting…

If you are looking to start cool weather crops by seeds or starts in your garden, be sure to cover your plants with row cover. Winter weight row cover is best but 2 layers of mid-weight will work as well if you don’t have the heavier weight. I even keep the areas where I plant seeds covered and you can water through row cover till they are acclimated. That way as they germinate, they will get some protection. The row cover is also really good to protect baby starts from our ferocious spring winds which can wipe them out as well as our cold nights. I do flip row cover off the plants on nice days, then back on at nite. You can get this online. I have had friends put sheets over their plants and even one who wrapped a tree in a sleeping bag! Both froze-after all you need a body to keep things warm in a sleeping bag! I never said it would easy growing here in our area BUT you can do so with a few protections.

Beets planted by starts survived

I planted a week ago by seeds-carrots and arugula-they are not up yet. At the same time, I planted beet starts. They are suffering from those 21°F nites out in the garden but are alive. Shallots bulbs, kale and fava beans are all very cold hardy and doing well. Peas got eaten by some thing 4 legged. All were put out one week before this cold snap and all are alive because of row cover on them. All lettuces and spinach were in either my greenhouse or a coldframe and did fine, but they too were covered with 2 layers of row cover.

It seems like from Friday, April 17th the nites will get above freezing for at least a week. This would be a good time to start cool season crops outside whether by seed or starts. So watch the weather and don’t forget to hand water them!

8 comments on “Plants suffer in 21°F weather/changes for the better by Friday April 17

  1. mike says:

    Thanks for spring cool weather tips. I prefer cool weather planting in August with warm soils, moisture, little wind and shorter days.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. tonytomeo says:

    This made me sort of laugh (not in a bad way though). I actually DID sow seed for kale a while back. The two problems with that are that I really dislike kale (It is a sample that was sent to me from a seed company.), and this is late to be growing it in this climate. I am not concerned about frost. I am concerned that by the time it starts doing well, the weather will be uncomfortably warm for it. Well, it was very old seed, so rather than wait another few months until the end of summer, I put it out there. I expected that either only a few would grow, leaving space in between for something that actually should be grown now, or that none of it would germinate. Well, it ALL seemed to germinate. I suppose I will find out how well it does this late. Yuck! If you can grow it fast enough before the hot part of summer, even after dodging frost, maybe I can too. Realistically, it would probably just grow right through our weak summer here. It gets warm, but not dreadfully hot.


  3. Amy says:

    Thanks for your updates and knowledge! I’m a new gardener in Santa Fe. How do you protect your outside seedlings and seeds from critters like packrat and mice? I’m thinking of stapling half inch hardware fabric to 2x4s rectangles and laying them over the seeded beds.


  4. Kaytran says:

    Hi Jannine, I do not know who else to ask, but you. I have a 3 years old cherry tree, the branches are about finger size. I just noticed yesterday, something had been eating most of the tip of the branches. Today, I check, it’s even worst. And the tree next to it also had a few branches gone. Do you happened to know what happen? The cut is so sharp as it someone cut it off. I attached some pictures I took yesterday. Do you know what happen? Thank you. Kay


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