Monday, May 1, 2017

Winter is over, but it could still frost

Although the weather is warm during the day, it could still get cold enough to frost at night. Most annuals should be kept indoors until Memorial Weekend unless you want to build a cold frame or cover the plants at night. The end of May seems to be the best time to set out transplants in Southeast Michigan, especially for tomatoes and peppers. You may get them in the ground early, but the little plants have a hard time out there in the cold night, and they grow slower.
All is not lost if it does indeed frost. If you have plants or flowering trees that are frost sensitive and you didn't get them covered before a frost, go outside before the sun shines on the plants and spray water on them, rinsing off the frost. This works for a light to moderate frost, but not for a hard frost or freeze.
The forecast is for temperatures above 36 degrees in Pontiac during the next 10 days, so it should be frost free, but keep an eye on the weather report, National Weather Service.
There are many frost resistant vegetable plants: broccoli,  kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, spinach, parsley, radishes and carrots.
Flowers that are frost hardy include pansies, primrose and violets.
Vegetables that are NOT frost resistant, include beans, corn, pumpkin, squash, watermelon, cucumbers, okra, and of course tomatoes and peppers.

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