Thursday, June 4, 2015

Heat At Last

New grape growth
The average May 2015 temperature in Denver was 4.1 degrees below normal at 53 degrees F. The cool month slowed or delayed growth of some plants and postponed planting of warm season vegetables.

This first week of June turned hot with temperatures in the eighties F. With this warmth grapes finally began to grow in earnest. The late start means flowers will likely escape frost when they come into bloom shortly. This is good news for looking towards fall harvest.

Transplants of squash
and pumpkin vine crops
With increased sunshine soils have warmed over sixty degrees F and vine crop vegetable transplants can be planted.

Warm weather also means it was time to add water to the side channels of Walls O'Water (WOW) to push the tops open. This turns the structure into more of a cylinder than a cone and allows for ventilation while still keeping the plant warm at night.

Wall O'Water with more
water added to open top
into a cylinder
Keeping the WOW on tomatoes or other warm season vegetables is likely wise for another reason. May and June are active storm months for Denver and the Front Range meaning not only rainstorms but also the possibility of hail. WOW offer fairly decent protection from hail.

An understanding of temperature, it's effect on plant growth and what can be done to temper it is a must for gardening success particularly at our high elevation.

Photo credits: Grape growth, Vine crop transplants, Wall O'Water - All Carl Wilson

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