Friday, June 4, 2010

Warm season finally arrives

Whew! It was great to finally get the transplants off the porch and into the garden on Memorial Day weekend. Even then nighttime temperatures were only high forties – still a little cold for tomatoes and peppers.

The first half of May was very cool in Denver. Although it didn’t freeze past the average last frost date of May 10, the nights were cold. People wanting to transplant early had to provide season extenders such as water walls for nighttime heat.

Those transplanting without season extenders once again proved the wisdom of waiting two to three weeks past the average last frost date. Only by then had the weather settled and cold winds turned warm. I had questions about why peppers and tomatoes weren’t growing from people transplanting early in the month. The answer is cold nighttime temperatures under 50 degrees F.

Now it looks like daytime temperatures will reach close to 90 degrees F with nighttimes in the low 50’s – perfect for warm season vegetables. This is typical of our high and dry steppe climate, going from cold to hot in a short period of time.

Continue to seed those 60 day root crops. Even though beet seed is larger than carrots (photo), I use germination fabric over both to keep the seedbed moist and increase germination percentage. It’s a great tool particularly on 90 degree F days when soil dries out so fast.

Photo credit: Protecting transplants, Transplants in garden, Beet seed - all Carl Wilson


  1. Hey Carl,

    Not quite related to this blog but do you or does some one know where I can get weed-free straw to use as mulch?

    Larry Drake (aka Mallard)

  2. I'm needing to space my plantings to provide a large crop into Sept-Oct. Where can I buy the seed germination fabric you mention. My beans, cucs are taking a long time to germinate.