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Everyday Gardeners

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Is that snow!?

Spring in the Midwest is a tempestuous time. The weather patterns are at their most active as warm and cold battle for dominance. Here in Iowa, we had mid 80s on Saturday. This morning, we woke up to snow. Ughhh.

Spring snow usually won’t hurt cool-season plants: bulbs, pansies, spring veggies like broccoli, onions and brussels sprouts.   They’ll take a good bit of freezing weather with little or no damage. (Brussels sprouts are incredibly cold tolerant, I discovered this spring. I planted some in the ground just before we got a 23 degree night a couple of weeks ago. They took a hit, but didn’t die and they’re coming back.)

Unfortunately, stores sell warm-season annuals sooner than they should, and unwitting customers buy and plant them too soon, only to see them die in a late frost. Know your last frost date.  You can find it here. Plant summer annuals and veggies about 2-3 weeks after the average last frost date. Cool-season annuals and veggies, perhaps 2-3 weeks before the average last frost date.   (Unless you live in Zone 9 or 10, where cool season plants can live all winter.)

A crocus peeks through an April 14 snow.

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