The record-breaking warm spring temperatures have many Central Iowans itching to get out into their gardens and start planting. But don’t forget that we’re not out of the woods yet. Central Iowa can still see frost as late as May 10.
It’s still too early to plant your hot weather foods. Plants like tomatoes, peppers and basil are heat-loving and don’t tolerate cool nights very well. Unless you’re prepared to cover these plants at night, and possibly during the days if we have a cold snap, it’s best just to wait.
There is little benefit to planting your hot weather plants early. They will grow slowly, if at all, in cool weather, and it’s not worth the risk of freezing.
But that doesn’t mean you have to stay out of the garden this beautiful weekend. Go ahead and plant your cool weather veggies. Get them in the ground, watch them grow, and prepare for an early feast of fresh greens!
These veggies can tolerate brief cold snaps and cool nights:
So go ahead, dust off your garden tools and get an early start this spring.