|Seedlings purchased from a garden nursery may need to be hardened off before they are planted in your garden [click here for more information on this topic]. |
|Planting Guides can help you decide|
when to plant certain things.
Cool, hardy season crops can often tolerate minor frosts and thrive in cooler weather conditions which dip as low at 40°F, some examples are broccoli, spinach, and onions. Warm season crop are much more sensitive to frost and should not be planted until all danger of frost has past. These plants do better in temperatures ranging from 70°F - 95°F, some examples are tomatoes, peppers, and watermelon. A longer list for these plants, and more details on this topic can be found in the following link to CSU Extension's vegetable planting Guide: https://cmg.extension.colostate.edu/Gardennotes/720.pdf
|Simple hoops over a garden can provide great|
fastening points for hail cloth and shade cloth.
More techniques and helpful tricks to extend the growing season can be found in the following link to a factsheet on this topic:
Frosts and cold snaps are one challenge, but hail can be one of the greatest risks to our gardens. Hoop houses or high tunnels can both extend the growing season and offer protection from hail. Hoops can also provide structures to which tightly woven ‘hail cloth’ can be fastened for added protection; hail cloth can also be placed over tomato cages or other structures available in your garden.
Walls of water and gallon milk cartons (with the bottoms cut off) can be used to protect new seedlings. If you leave the cap off of these cartons, they can even be left over seedlings until the plant outgrows this structure. Your imagination is the limit! Before a hailstorm, cardboard boxes, plastic buckets, and even sheets can help prevent some of the most extreme damage from occurring; however, you should never risk personal safety to protect your garden and should only implement these methods if you are able to get out far enough ahead of a storm for it to be safe.
A factsheet on this topic can be found on the following link:
Sometimes it isn't possible to protect our gardens from a rapidly developing hailstorm. If you don’t find yourself with enough notice that a potential storm is coming or perhaps find yourself away from your garden when this weather occurs, you should know that our plants can recover! They want to grow. To include a direct quote from our Plant Talk page on this topic:
For perennials with foliage intact but stripped, remove flower stalks and cut them back leaving as many intact leaves as possible. Lightly cultivate the soil, and apply a light dressing of low-nitrogen fertilizer.
Flowering annuals with no remaining foliage probably won’t recover after a hailstorm. Petunias usually survive if there is at least some foliage still on the plant. Clean the plants of ruined foliage and apply a light application of fertilizer to help them recover.
Early vegetable root crops with no remaining foliage will not recover. They need the green leafy foliage to produce energy for the roots to grow. Leafy vegetable crops may recover; replant if you see no signs of new growth after a week or so.
For a wealth of information on gardening, I would also highly encourage you to check out our 'Growing' resources at http://growandgivecolorado.org/