Unseasonably warm, even record-breaking temperatures have awoken the sleeping giant in local gardeners. The question we hear most often these days is “Can I plant now?” Well, the grass is greening up, the worms are surfacing, and it sure looks like planting time. If you can dig a deep enough hole to accommodate the plant you want to add, you can technically plant it.
I think what people really want to know is “Will this last?” If you want a definitive answer on that one, get back to me in about 8 weeks. Anyone who has lived in Minnesota long enough has seen snowflakes in June.
If you decide to go ahead and plant, be prepared if the weather reverts to more seasonable temperatures. If we get freezing temperatures again (the average date of last frost in the Twin Cities area is MAY 10) and if your tender plants have sprouted, you need to put some protective covering over the new foliage so it doesn’t die. You may have to do this on several occasions before we are past any danger of frost/freeze.
You can also use Freeze-Pruf on your plants. It’s a spray-on product we sell in our stores that will help protect tender vegetation from freezing.
If you can’t resist planting, stick to planting things like pansies that can handle a light frost.
The questions you need to ask yourself before planting are these:
- Am I willing to spend the extra time and effort to protect my plants if we get a frost/freeze?
- Am I willing to invest in a product like Freeze-Pruf to protect my plants?
- Am I willing to lose some (or even all) my tender plants if the weather returns to normal?
- Is it worth the risk to get some color into my life?
As for me, I think I will try starting some of my pea seeds in containers this weekend. A package of seeds is not a big investment. I would risk losing them for a chance at fresh vegetables outside my door. I will take home some pansies and cover them if it gets really cold. I won’t be going full steam ahead, but I can’t resist getting starting with SOMETHING!
Anyway, you know what they say, “If you haven’t killed a plant or two, you aren’t really gardening.”
So….will you or won’t you plant? What will you be starting with?