MD Weather Stressing Me Out

uaskigyrl(7)March 27, 2014

Hi All,

Soooooo...I'm not really sure what to do about this MD weather. It's kind of stressing me out. I started seeds and I have a couple plants that could do with being put in the ground and/or in pots (I have a raised garden bed this year as well as the pots I used last year) and I don't know when I should put them in? Do I wait until it's what temperature? Over 32F on a consistent basis? Anyone in this area that can give me some advice for a late spring?

Thanks
Jessica

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If it is any comfort to you I think this year's unusual weather is stressing many out regardless of where they live as it seems to be affecting most of the country in one way or another.

You don't mention exactly what plants you need input on and when it comes to weather/temperature effects, the specific plant in question makes a big difference. Although not many things I can think of would go out until the air temps are consistently in the 40s rather than the 30s. Ground level temps are several degrees colder than the predicted lows as they are based on 5-6' above ground equipment.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 5:49PM
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JulieAnnR

I'm with you! I'm in northern Frederick County and the soil temp this evening was 40 degrees F; since air temps are supposed to be coming up I'm planning to check over the next few days, then hopefully go ahead and put in peas, lettuce, spinach, and maybe some Brussels sprouts once we get to 45. I have some cabbage seedlings under lights that probably aren't quite ready, but I'll start hardening those off this week, too. I've got some covers waiting in the wings in case we get another absurd cold snap, too. Nothing for it but to try to get these up before things turn hot!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 8:58PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Long winter and cold is stressful.
Here at PNW we have some of the depressing weathers around. Starting some time around thanksgiving the rain season begins and it wont end til some time in May. Temperature wise it is not very cold but the rain, drizzles and clouds won't go away. Right now, looking into 10 days forecast, there won't be even one fully sunny day. What we have is cold crops weather. Peas, onions, garlic. parsley, .. are doing fine. Our temperatures range is 40F to 55F BUT CLOUDY AND RAINY.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 11:47PM
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uaskigyrl(7)

The plants that have sprouted right now are:

Minnesota midget melon
Scallop white squash
Brandy wine yellow tomatoes
Black Krim tomatoes
Tom thumb pea
Royal Purple bush bean
True lemon cucumber

(My peppers have yet to sprout...I don't think they are going to :( )

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 6:59AM
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booberry85(5)

I'd hold off on putting anything outside right now. Once the temperatures are consistently above~ 35-40 F, you can put the peas outside. The air temps need to be warmer for the rest of your plants (consistently 45 F for night time temperatures, but your plants will be stalled in growing at that temp; 48 - 50 F for plants to continue growing.)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:03AM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

I feel the same way!! I'm in Montgomery County and suffering major cabin fever. I really, really want to put my tomatoes and others outside . . . But our 90% frost free date is not until May 7. There are some crops (like spinach) that can go outside now, but for the most part I am contending myself with keeping everything inside.

By the way, I am also having trouble germinating my peppers. I have germination, but not as much as I would expect. I don't use a heat pad. I just use a huge, south facing bay window that tends to be like.a natural heated greenhouse. I think the unusual cold is affecting even that location. :( But that's okay. They will catch back up. The worst case scenario is that they are late this year.

Angie

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:10AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

It's funny, I came on here while thinking "man, this weather". If it isn't one thing, it is another. The long range forecast shows us getting temperatures approaching normal, very exciting, BUT also rain for the next 3 days! *small exasperated scream* At least the last of the snow melted overnight. I think you might be jumping the gun on some of those crops. Melon, squash, cucumber and beans are all usually direct seeded when the ground is nice and warm, like mid-late May. I am starting my tomatoes and peppers indoors now, though. A week or so later than I usually do, but who knows how long this cooler trend will last? Peas and favas have been sown (half of them anyway) and that's really all there is in the garden so far. I'm itching to go too!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:41AM
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JulieAnnR

It's funny you both say that about your peppers, mine took a whole three weeks to germinate. Meanwhile everything else (tomatoes, tomatillos, etc.) sprouted like mad under the same conditions. So weird.

Mothers' Day is a good, if very general rule of thumb for when to get plants/seeds like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, okra, and other hot-weather plants into the ground. So for those, just keep potting them up indoors until May.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:43AM
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uaskigyrl(7)

I didn't even think about a heating pad for my peppers. This will be my second full year gardening so I'm still learning. I just bought a heating pad so we'll see if that will kick them in the behind.

I know! We are finally above 30 degrees and it's raining! UGH! Everybody in my house is getting extremely antsy...even the doggies.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:07AM
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ltilton

Ground here is still frozen.

I've got broccoli and cabbage way overage to go into the garden, but no can do.

And when it warms, it brings rain.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:10AM
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uaskigyrl(7)

However, I did see a ground hog hopping through the street while on the way to work so that could be a good sign...or he could be just as confused as all of us!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:23AM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

Well, tomatoes will germinate in cooler soil than peppers. Peppers (usually my specialty, but apparently not this year :(() require warmer soil temperatures. And then they can still be slower than tomatoes. My habaneros can take a month or more to germinate. Thank heavens I saved some from last year!

At this time of the year I am starting herbs (sage, common thyme, mint, parsley, basil, elephant dill and others) and trying to wake up some of my herbs from last year (Greek oregano, hot spicy oregano, rosemary, German thyme). I'm also starting tomatoes (green zebra, mortgage lifter, azoychka) and peppers (orange bells, California wonder, orange habanero, Caribbean red habanero, tabasco and Chinese 5 color) inside. Melons, carrots, beans, onions and others will be direct seeded when the weather is warmer. But I am planting up some of my container garden. At least I can give those plants a head start!

It's really my herbs that are giving me any relief now. They are all in pots inside, so there isn't much work to do with them at the moment except remembering to water them. But it is so nice to watch them develop!! The dill seedling is starting to actually look like dill! Weeeeee!!!

But on the positive side, I planted one single common sage seed and got about 20 sprouts. I planted one single common thyme seed and got about 15 sprouts. I planted one single Genovese basil and got about 5 sprouts. Now I'm going to go plant one single dollar . . . .

Angie

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:55AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Minnesota midget melon
Scallop white squash
Brandy wine yellow tomatoes
Black Krim tomatoes
Tom thumb pea
Royal Purple bush bean
True lemon cucumber

I'm just curious why you would have started all those indoors? All of them except for the tomatoes and peppers are normally direct seeded outside at the proper time. They do better that way. Especially in your zone.

And even if you did start them indoors it is too early to start squash and beans. They are summer crops, not spring ones, and quickly grow past transplant size.

Weather aside, sometimes we create our own problems and stressors. :)

Dave

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:05PM
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uaskigyrl(7)

I started them that way because...I'm new at this. HAHA!

Last year I started way too late so I overcorrected this year a bit but wasn't expecting it to stay so cold this far out into spring.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:18PM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

One of the things I do to tide myself over in the off season is read, daydream, and plan for the coming year. :) You would not believe how well researched, planned out, and daydreamed about this year's garden is . . . . but lots of info is online to help scheduling. As a rule of thumb, starting a bit late is better than starting early. I started late last year. Not because I didn't know better, but because I had not done it in years and it took until late spring before it suddenly occurred to me that I actually have a yard now and this would be something I could do to assure myself a supply of habaneros, which I tend to put in everything, but which the grocery stores often do not have. Then once I started it just sort of went crazy . . . .

Last year I don't think I started habaneros until May and they are slow starters that take a long time to bear fruit. I still got a good harvest, albeit later in the year. So things are usually okay if you are a bit late.

But if you want something that will be good to grow now and be wonderful in the kitchen, I cannot say enough good things about growing herbs. They are perfect for indoor pots, they are easy to start, and the taste is truly a revelation. I don't think I will ever be able to eat supermarket spice rack dill, rosemary, oregano, basil, etc. ever again. The fresh is just too easy to grow and the taste is euphoric. So now I'm growing just about all the herbs I ever use in cooking.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:40PM
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Maynard1980

I live in PG county and I'm sick of this weather. I actually planted my peas March 11th, and not a single one has come up yet. I'm getting kind of worried that I planted too early and will have to replant. However, I planted some radish and lettuce seeds at the same time, just to see what would happen, and wouldn't you know it, those radishes that I had long given up on just started to pop up today. I've also had some sparse mesclun lettuce growth for about a week. I planted my red onion sets March 10th, and almost every single one of them has some green growth by now.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 5:50PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I'm thinking of going out in the rain and putting down some carrot and radish seeds... It feels so warm out there! FINALLY!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 11:29AM
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JulieAnnR

I'm itching to get out there, too! Rain or shine, I have to get some work done out there this weekend. Time to dig out the boots!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 12:01PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Expecting a low of -5 degrees F here for tomorrow night and a high of 16 degrees F, so it could be way, way worse! :)
I've already got some spinach and miner's lettuce planted out under row covers and plastic. Last year we had a very delayed spring and I didn't have tunnels, so I had to wait until early May to seed spinach. It bolted in 3 weeks.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 12:21PM
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Maynard1980

GREAT NEWS, MD residents!!! I planted onion sets, peas, radishes, and lettuce March 10-11. Just yesterday, all of the radishes and lettuce started coming up, and every single onion has some green growth at the top. Still waiting on the peas, but I expect to see some growth in a day or two, with this warm weather.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 2:14PM
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JulieAnnR

Dear sleet,

Really?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 3:09PM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

Heavy snow is coming down here. :(

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 3:33PM
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lexusnexus(7a)

And it's snowing again today! Argh. We're in Silver Spring. It's not only the temperatures, the soil is too wet to work. And has been for quite some time. I wonder when we are going to get a week of no precipitation.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 5:30PM
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wannabegardnr(7 Maryland)

Snowing in Rockville too. That was unexpected!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 5:34PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Hey y'all, don't know how many of you know there is a mid-atlantic forum here too and those folks are planning a meetup/plant swap for spring. Don't know if I can make it to Burtonsville, but maybe some of you are interested?

Here is a link that might be useful: Maryland swap thread

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:10AM
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