Gardening tips for late April and early May
As we move later through April and into May more and more people will be out to plant in their gardens. It is important though, that you are cautious of which plants you put in the dirt, and which ones you wait on. Air and soil temperatures have a big impact on whether a plant will germinate and flourish, or become stagnant and die.
Plants need warmer soil temperatures to begin to germinate, typically the minimum soil temperature is around 50 degrees. Ideally you want soil temperatures to range from 65 to 75 degrees for a quicker germination process. Here in Michiana we have to look at the weather we have been dealing with, what's to come, and weather that has been present in years past, to get a good idea of what can go in the ground now. Our average high for this time of year is 59 degrees with an average low of 38. The threat of frost and hard freeze are still in play until we move into the month of May. In our forecast we have lots of temperatures during the morning hours that will be pushing close to the point of frost development, so any frost sensitive plants could be damaged.
So what can go out into the garden now? On the vegetable side of things; potatoes, carrots, beets, and turnips are typically more frost hardy, so if we would get those colder morning lows to arrive, the vegetables would likely be fine. As far as flowers, perennials are usually safe to get into the dirt. An example of a popular perennial are daylilies.
Other plants that are more sensitive to colder temperatures, and that need to wait to go into the ground until early to mid May include; tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, and vine crops. Flowers that should wait till may to be planted include cannas, dahlias, and begonias. These types of plants would take considerable damage from frosty and freezing conditions, that's why it is important to wait till May, when we are typically clear of that threat.
One place to check out here in Michiana is Unity Gardens. I was lucky enough to speak with Sara Stewart the founder and executive director of Unity Gardens and Mitch Yaciw director of operations about gardening this time of year. They have all the information you need; whether your a veteran gardener, or you want to start one for the first time. Check out their website at: theunitygardens.org They also are available on Facebook and email. Unity Gardens will also be putting on an Earth Day event next Thursday. All that information is below on their flyer