Predicting Frost, 6B

Ronkonkoma, NY(Zone 6b)

Hiya garden creatures. I have a question that may be a little silly, but still trying to figure it out. All planting schedules are relative to frost, most recently the last spring. I understand that predicting the weather is always a crap shoot, but what do most people rely on to try and predict when the last spring frost will be so they can plan their planting? I had heard April 20th is the average, anyone have imput one way or the other? What is the tried and true source, if any?

Secondly, I found a lot of heavy black rubber in the house (sections cut from a roll). I was thinking of using this around the melon mounds for mulch, with soaker hoses beneath for water. Can anyone think of why this may be bad? Thanks in advance.

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

I'm planning on putting out my veggies in wall-o-waters http://www.gardeners.com/Red-Tomato-Teepees/default/34-952.prd as soon as they are big enough to put out. They are just little two leaf sprouts right now.

Ronkonkoma, NY(Zone 6b)

Pretty nifty Anita. The first time I'd seen those. I gotta get into starting seeds. Must get set up in the basement. The good news is that the last owner left about 3 extra shop lights and a whole case of regular flu bulbs. I think if I lay some ply over the top of the old pool table and and some lights, I have a setup!

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

There are plans around on this site somewhere showing how to create a light stand from PVC tubes if you are interested.

Seaford, NY(Zone 7a)

April 20th is usually the latest we have frost in central suffolk,co. (pine barrens May1) When we get closer to that date I check the National weather service website (http://www.erh.noaa.gov/okx/) for frost advisories or warnings. Long term weather forecasts have been getting better(4-5 days instead of 2-3 days) FYI Last year, last frost was April 17. Good luck this growing season. (p.s. I planted lettuce and spinach seeds this morning)

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

so when should come to your house for salad, branches??

Southern, CT(Zone 6a)

Wormboy, Across the pond here its May 15. I'm assuming you know which hardier plants can go out before your frost date.
I can confirm that wall-o-waters give you 3-4 extra weeks.
Dave

Seaford, NY(Zone 7a)

Anita,
The salad should be harvested in mid may hopefully (weather permitting)!!

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

yumm..I'll bring my home made salad dressing and fork!

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

My grandpop used to put in his tomatoes and peppers around May 15 down in NJ {trenton} which is where I hail from originally. I think April is a little early for this type of crop in Ronkonkoma. Even if you don't get frost, the weather can still be cold and windy {in the 40's} and your tomatoes and peppers wont thrive until they get the warmer weather. It's as much a question of how warm is the ground as the surrounding air. If you put some black plastic down on your tomato bed for a couple of weeks before you plant, this will warm up the ground underneath. then you can cut holes in the plastic and plant your tomatoes through it. You can lay your drip hose underneath the plastic as well. Cold weather also is good news for the walls-o-water people. Those things really work!
April is fine for cold weather crops like peas, spinach, other leafy veggies. But tomatoes, peppers, cucurbits of all sorts, these need heat.
Martha

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

We never put anything out until May 15th and that's when we begin the hardening off process. They get planted May 26th - 30th.

I think that idea about putting the black rubber around the base of the melons is excellent.

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

I agree Martha - if I was putting them out unprotected. This is an experiement. Dave has had success with his WOW's, so I thought I would give them a shot. If it doesn't work, I'll know better for next year. Keep in mind that I am not putting them all out. I still have the bunch that I wintersowed.

Southern, CT(Zone 6a)

I've put tomatoes out in April (a little later in April) with WOW with success and I felt I could have gone sooner. Someone mentioned putting the WOW out for a day or 2 before the plant. This gives the water a chance to heat up.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

We use the soil temperature as our guide and 55 degrees is when we plant, never before that.

Seaford, NY(Zone 7a)

my 2 cents
I put out tomatoes and peppers and stuff like that after May 20...


P.S. We had a light frost this morning.


This message was edited Apr 10, 2006 8:51 AM

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

Sorry, I misread the WOW part. If you have those, go for it. they work like a charm. I would dig the hole first before I filled up the WOW because that can be awkward after you have put the water in and there is a chance that you might snag a hole in one of the chambers. If you do, fix it with a piece of clear weatherstripping tape or duct tape if the hole is really small. If yours didn't come with instructions, fill them halfway up all around and then go back and fill the rest of the way. It is easier to handle them that way especially if you need to move it for any reason. Good luck. they really are fun things to work with!

Fairmont, WV(Zone 6a)

Hey gardenmart, I used to live in Saugus!

pam

Southern, CT(Zone 6a)

And keep them around your plants after May 15. They will continue to warm the plant & soil and your tomato will grow faster. I've had years where I didn't get them out until May 15 and the WOWs still helped.

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

Well - my two little sprouts are still holding up - they looked if-y, but so far so good - and that's with temperatures that dropped into the 30's!

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

Pam,
We live up the hill from the cemetary off of Winter Street! My daughter is graduating Saugus High in June. This month we have lived here22 years.
Martha

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