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Spring Gardening Tips

December 9, 2021


Temperatures in Spring

may result in some problems for anxious gardeners who want to get an early start with their veggie gardens and annuals. 

Some greenhouse plants that have been growing in a nice warm environment at 60º and 70ºsoil temperatures cannot survive being planted in soil temperatures that are barely 50º.  Air temps getting down into the 30’s or 40’s can cause some setbacks. 

Tomatoes & Peppers

Tomatoes and peppers are two varieties that must have warm temperatures to do well. Tomatoes that are planted before the soil and air temps are warm can develop calcium deficiency which can cause ‘blossom end rot’. Blossom end rot distorts the shape of early fruit with a black bottom end of the tomato. This is not very pretty, but the tomato is still edible. 

Bonide Rot-Stop Controls blossom end rot on tomatoes and other vegetables. Purchase Rot-Stop online and pick up curbside or at our front desk.

cabbage seedlings

Bring Them In

One of the easiest ways to try to counteract the temperature fluctuations is to bring your plants in overnight. If that is not feasible, cover your annuals with breathable fabric – not plastic – or a bucket or other type of cloche. Uncover during the day, if temperatures allow, so the plants still receive light.

How to Protect Plants From Frost

Of course, the main way to protect plants from frosts is to cover them.

Cover your Plants

Cover Your Plants: Generally, covering plants to create a temporary pocket of warmer air is the best way to protect them.

Bedsheets, drop cloths, blankets, and plastic sheets that do not touch plants, make suitable covers for vulnerable plants.

Woven fabrics are better than solid ones such as plastic. Garden stores will sell “row covers” of lighter weight or thickness, giving perhaps two degrees protection, a thicker one giving up to five degrees protection.

Drape loosely to allow for air circulation. Do not let the material rest on the plants. Secure to ground with rocks or bricks or stakes to keep the covering from touching the foliage beneath.


How to Protect Plants From Frost

Keep sheets or row covers at the ready stored somewhere dry, neatly rolled up and off the ground to keep them away from vermin. If you use polythene covers, hose them down if they’re dirty and dry them so they’re ready to use when frost threatens. It’s best to have all covers in place well before sunset. Before you cover the plants in the late afternoon or early evening, water your plants lightly.

Apply covers in the early evening as winds die down, and remove the coverings when temperatures rise the next day (mid-morning) so that plants can get full exposure to the warming sunlight.

If these methods don’t help and you lose some plants, try to learn from your mistakes and remember – this is spring in Ohio – given time, all things will change!

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