April roars in-cold ‘n windy

The time between spring and summer where one day it’s gorgeous and the next day/night too cold is called the shoulder season-one day winter and the next day summer. This April has been miserable so far in my opinion. We’ve had a few nice days with warmer weather and just when we get excited about putting in this season’s vegetable garden, the weather turns for the worst. I got lots of veggies to plant out this year and some to sell/give away.


Windy and cold. COLD AND WINDY!! Tonite, Thursday, April 15– Monday, April 27, every night is BELOW freezing-that’s 5 days! What happen to our 40 degree nights and 65+ degree day temperatures. Plus gale force wind is  between 25-40 mph-day and night! Waah!  And looking further out, it remains in the low 30’s until Saturday, April 24. That’s 9 days of miserable weather all together.

Of course all this will change (probably overnight) to hot and dry weather and I will regret all of this when it gets hot in June. Where is the precipitation in the form of rain or snow? I’ll take any that nature has to offer. She seems very stingy right now. Does it seem like things are out of control? Definitely. Or at least I can’t control them! That is the plight of the vegetable gardener-we have to deal with the unexpected and make adjustments.

This means many things get put on hold. Like attaching the drip timers.  Freezing nights can crack the little diaphragms that are in the timers so I have to wait to put them out till the night time temps get above freezing.

Hardening new veggies off outside will have to wait a little longer. Meanwhile they will be safe indoors.

Planting my cool season crops out right now? Nope. Sure they can handle some cold nights, but do I really want to push them out to a cruel and harsh world after being cozy inside all spring growing up? Nah. I can wait a little longer, but my patience is growing short and yet I know if I push too hard, I will regret it with stunted plants or worse frozen ones and starting over. I will try to put them out next week.

And warm season crops like tomatoes, eggplants and peppers-forget about em right now. They are set to be transplant outside from mid-May to June. The last 2 years I was able to sneak out the tomatoes with wall of waters protection in early May, so we will see what this May brings.

When I do put in those first cool-season crops like kale, beets, chard, spinach I will cover them with row cover at night to give them a chance. If I had gotten them out earlier in the warm spell, they probably would have adjusted just fine but I missed that window. So now I wait. Patience.


I already have cool season lettuces growing in the greenhouse and cold-frame and they are doing well and are fully adjusted to the temps because they have protection from the wind and the cold plus I will cover them with row cover on the below freezing nites. I’m not worried about them.

Meanwhile I have a house full of plants, waiting to go out. Patience. I’ve been patient all year with CV but the good news is, I’m still here!


9 comments on “April roars in-cold ‘n windy

  1. Tabula Rasa says:

    We’ve got unusual April weather too. Pretty much every night is below freezing which is confounding those who believe the internet when it says the UKs last frost date is Mid April. Those of us who learnt from the oldies know it is it 1st week in June for most everywhere except Londoners. It’s pretty sunny every day and we have very little wind and almost no rain, what has fallen has been snow or hail. My bones say that last time we had a spring like this we had a very dull wet and muggy summer.


  2. Ann Caudell says:

    Jannine, have you used Wall-O-Water for your tomatoes to lengthen the growing time? If so, when do you feel comfortable putting the tomatoes in the garden, particularly when we’re going to have a couple of 20 degree night temps?


    • Hi Ann-Good catch. I did put in that I would plant tomatoes with protection when I should of said wall of waters (WOWs) protection, which I just corrected. And yes I use them every year with our cold nites. I only put them out with WOWs every year! Thanks for catching this!
      As far as when I put tomatoes out, each year is different. 2019 tomatoes were in on May 3. 2018 was May 7. Seems I can sneak them in earlier each year as the the normal first frost free day is historically May 15 but I think with global warming, we can now get them in much earlier.
      How about you? What’s the earliest you’ve been able to get them in?


  3. Just found your site when Googling “Where can I buy heirloom tomato plants near Santa Fe?” But I’m thinking you don’t sell plants…or do you? I have a small garden but no good place to start seeds, so I depend on retail garden shops. Unfortunately, they are mostly selling the same hybrid varieties as the big box stores. I recently went to one garden shop where several flats of tomato plants were not labeled and the employee said he had no idea what variety they were! (And acted as if it wasn’t important)
    Being of Italian heritage I am most interested in staying in that tradition: San Marzano, Costuluto Genovese, etc. but so many other heirloom tomatoes would be welcome in my garden. I have room for about ten plants and would like at least 5 different varieties.
    Can you please offer some advice? I live in Cochiti Lake where we are usually just a bit warmer than Santa Fe. I’ve enjoyed perusing your blog. Thank you so much. Frank, giapetto2@gmail.com


  4. tonytomeo says:

    That is the weather that sort of intrigues me about other climates, but also makes me glad to be on the West Coast of California. It may seem boring, and lacks chill for what needs it, but it is easier to garden with. I think that most inland climates, even if not as variable as yours, are more variable than here. It does sound exciting though.


  5. Ugh! The wind is so brutal right now. Having to repot my tomatoes and just starting some greens. Im watering and waiting to burn weed seedlings. So tempted , but we were wiped out by hail last year. Just going to wait. Ugh. Thank you for all your wisdom. Im at 8000′ in the mountains south of you and its tough, but your help has been awesome!


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