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Unusually Cold-- quick anwers

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Unusually Cold-- quick anwers

Post  ModernDayBetty on 4/29/2011, 7:19 pm

I think I might head to the store in an hour or so....

It has be uncharacteristically cold around here this past month. It's usually sunny and in the mid 70's by now with low's in the 40's and 50's overnight but we've been having temps ranging from 50s-60's, very occasional 70's and lows hovering just above freezing!

I planted everything outside when the farmers almanac told me to but none of my warm weather friends are making it ... So now I have two choices, plant more seeds indoors and purchase a grow light (or make one, I was using a window with very little success to begin with) or purchase plants. "They" keep telling up warm weather is just around the corner but "they" have yet to be right... Is it too late to start from seed? Things like Tomatoes, eggplant, melons?

I know it my be a regional thing, but to fill in the gaps and help you help me, we do have warm weather into late October. And also, the wagon cover has been a no go also. We've had high wind advisories, up to 50 mph.... yikes. So I can't seem to even keep a row cover on.

Help, tell me what to do. I want veggies dang it!!
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Re: Unusually Cold-- quick anwers

Post  dizzygardener on 4/29/2011, 7:34 pm

Here are the two things that come to mind:

1. Dig them up, put them in pots and bring them back inside until the weather is better. Some will survive some will not.
2. Do a covered wagon, but use 1x2 cut to length. Wrap the row cover around the 1x2 and screw it to your box. Make sure to give yourself an easy access point.
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Re: Unusually Cold-- quick anwers

Post  Homekeeper on 4/29/2011, 7:57 pm

I live in Western Washington and we too are having cold weather, it actually snowed (flurries) and hailed here yesterday morning! I've been worried about my garden outside but everything "seems" to be doing ok. So I'm wondering like you too about the weather. The news did say this is a very abnormal April for us, so wondering how May is going to be.
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Re: Unusually Cold-- quick anwers

Post  boffer on 4/29/2011, 8:09 pm

You see how crazy it is to plant by last year's numbers or historical numbers? As you said, it is a regional thing, but more importantly a micro-climate thing. The way my spring is going, it will be another month before I get serious about putting out warm weather crops to fend in the weather for themselves. And I can't count on my warm season lasting as long as yours.

Your cool crops should be safe and just need some sunshine. Your warm crops? It sounds like they need some protection for now. Like Dizzy said, move them back inside or get serious about securing your hoop covers. On my side of the mountains, it's too late to start tomatoes, melons, peppers, and eggplant from seed. There should be time for winter and summer squashes, beans, cucumbers, and corn to be started outside. Unless the weather was like last year!

I'm always thankful that my mere survival doesn't depend on my garden!
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Re: Unusually Cold-- quick anwers

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/29/2011, 9:19 pm

Two words for late plantings: Farmers' Markets. Many times in the past I've purchased greenhouse plants raised by local growers to fill in places where my under-glass plants failed to thrive, sometimes with an even better variety than that I'd planted! Mid-May should have lots of Farmers' markets starting up (BTW, the one near downtown Olympia, WA, is one of the best). Go ahead, fill in some of your spaces with locally raised plants, and in the meantime, start some of your own. Treat all as succession plantings. Go for it!

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Re: Unusually Cold-- quick anwers

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/30/2011, 2:01 pm

Krazikandiland, I think the suggestions given are about the best you can do with this abysmal weather.

Either dig those warm weather plants up and keep indoors for a couple of weeks, or fix your hoop house so it will survive the winds.

If these plants fail due to the cold weather, Farmer's Markets are usually a good source for new transplants.

Just sorry I can't make any other helpful suggestions for you.
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Re: Unusually Cold-- quick anwers

Post  ModernDayBetty on 4/30/2011, 7:43 pm

Thanks everyone for the help. So the general consciousness sounds like it is too late to start some new seeds indoors? I guess I'll be heading out for some transplants. The sad part is the weather is finally starting to look like it's turning around. I unfortunately can't dig out the plants.... it's way to late :o( I kept hopefully that they would make it. The funny thing is, I have one tiny little eggplant that seems to be holding out. I suppose I really only want the strong to survive? lol. I tried the "starting the seeds indoors on a paper towel" trick and we'll see in another week according the temp chart weather they made it outdoors... My dirt boxes are looking pretty lonely right now lol, I'm pretty sure in the next few days lettuce, carrots, and radishes should be poking their little selves out from the dark. Ohhh the uncertainty of the learning curve.
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Re: Unusually Cold-- quick anwers

Post  ModernDayBetty on 4/30/2011, 9:20 pm

In the back of the book, germination times, is that average temp or is that day time high?
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Re: Unusually Cold-- quick anwers

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/1/2011, 11:48 am

krazikandiland,

The temps and germination times on pages 252 and 253 of the ANDFG book are based on your soil temperature.

With our lack of sun and warmer temperatures, the soil temoerature stays pretty cool for a long time. One way to increase your soil temperature is to cover the bed with plastic laid over the soil. Again, a hoop house will also help warm your soil.
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Re: Unusually Cold-- quick anwers

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/1/2011, 6:08 pm

Bad news: too late to start new plants for Central Washington. Good news: lots of great seedling plants started by folks who make a living providing plants for the rest of us. Farmers' markets have saved me more times than I really want to admit. You want to bet the starts from your farmers' market really leap up at a taste of your Mel's mix in your revitalized squar foot garden. Go for it. Besides, it's just too much fun to see what your local organic greenhouses have started to tempt us.

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