A lot of people choose one of two options on the May long weekend. Go camping, and maybe get snowed on. Or plant your garden... and maybe get snowed on!
Sometimes it seems like a cruel joke played by Mother Nature on the Victoria Day weekend, but Scott Stoner, a registered horticulturalist with Blue Grass Nursery and Garden Centre says when it comes to planting your garden, this weekend is as good as any other.
"Everybody's always anxious to get things planted. The tendency is as soon as it warms up a little they figure they can start planting stuff, but Mother Nature is a little bit more cruel than that. You should be able to put it out this weekend and you should be fine with it. If you want to really save yourself you could just wait until after the May long weekend, but that's no guarantee of no frost."
Stoner says certain plants will benefit from waiting. "Like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchinis, any of your hot weather plants would benefit until waiting until after this weekend." Planting from seeds, according to Stoner, can be done almost anytime. "Seeds go in the ground and they'll come up when the ground is warm enough and they're ready. The seeds aren't so much of a problem when you plant as your actual live plants. They have to get acclimatized a little bit, that's why they're a little bit on the tender side when you put them out. Believe it or not, my vegetable garden was planted two weeks ago."
Even though he cautions on planting live plants too early, Stoner says putting them out this weekend should be fine. "There are a lot of plants that we do put out that even though they're annuals they will handle the cooler weather. Petunias will handle a little bit of cool, some of your zonal geraniums, allyssum, snap dragons, dusty miller. There's a few plants that will tolerate the cooler conditions."
The most common question Stoner says he receives is 'when can I start and what can I put in now'. His answer? "It's by guess and by gosh. Most of the time your seeds are fine to put in because once the ground is warm enough they will germinate on their own. If they do pop up, the ground will hold some heat and it won't be frosted that low to the ground."
Whatever you choose to do this long weekend, camping, gardening, or some other activity, try not to get snowed on!
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