Cold nights?

Asked May 10, 2017, 3:00 PM EDT

Hi there- since this has been such a wet and cold spring (nights predicted to be in the 40s all next week), do I need to push my planting schedule back? For example, will my squash tolerate the night temps?

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for your question. Yes, you are absolutely right. This cold spring has pushed back planting dates. I hope you don't mind if I share an answer I gave to someone else yesterday who asked about zucchini starts that were not doing well in the garden.

As you know there are many variables at play in gardening so pinpointing the exact cause is difficult. However, I suspect our prolonged cool weather has shocked your zucchini starts. This spring soil temperatures have lagged. Zucchini needs warm soil temperatures grow.

You can purchase a soil thermometer at your local garden center. The Oregon State University Extension has a brief guide on how to use it. You can see it at this link.

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/it-time-plant-vegetables-ask-your-soil-thermometer

Any guide on planting dates is variable, subject to soil temperature.

In the meantime, to help warm your seedlings over night, you can use a ground cover. The seedlings may rejuvenate.

I have also provided a link to a general vegetable planting guide called "Growing Your Own" that explains planting dates and soil temperatures in more detail.

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/sites/default/files/em9027complete1.pdf
Best of luck.