Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

Discuss your tips, tricks and experiences growing and selling vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants and herbs.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old March 4, 2012   #1
Keger
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Richmond, TX
Posts: 299
Default Does a 40 degree night hurt?

Planting time. From what I hear at least.

Are a few 40 degree to 38 degree night hurt anything with new transplants?

I see the guys here plant now, some say its early, but I have seen pecan trees bud, so I think its ok.

Forcast says a few low temp night coming up.

Thanks!
Keger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 4, 2012   #2
recruiterg
Tomatovillian™
 
recruiterg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Edina, MN (Zone 4)
Posts: 862
Default

I would say no. 32 degrees will hurt. If you anticipate anything lower than 36 or so, I would cover or protect. At 38, I think you should be fine.
recruiterg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 4, 2012   #3
Tracydr
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Laurinburg, North Carolina, zone 7
Posts: 2,053
Default

I know a lot of people here in Phoenix plant out in mid-Feb, have lots of 38-40 degree nights. I don't do it, as I've seen frost in my yard those nights. I've also heard it can slow them down a bit.
To much chance of frost when the weatherman is wrong or if conditions are right. You can have frost up to 40 degrees or so. But, most times, they are fine down to low temps, no problems if not frozen.
Tracydr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 4, 2012   #4
feldon30
SETTFest™ Coordinator
 
feldon30's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 5,130
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keger View Post
Planting time. From what I hear at least.

Are a few 40 degree to 38 degree night hurt anything with new transplants?

I see the guys here plant now, some say its early, but I have seen pecan trees bud, so I think its ok.

Forecast says a few low temp night coming up.

Thanks!
Where your forecast comes from can make a huge difference. I suggest using a site like Wunderground.com or the NOAA website and look at the semi-hourly reports.

Television weather reports can be particularly misleading. They typically give the highest and lowest temperature between midnight-to-midnight, rather than the actual highest and coolest temperature for the day. I can't count how many times the weather person on TV has called for a low of 36 yet it actually continued to drop until reaching 31 degrees around 7am before it started warming up again.

Also time matters. A prediction of 38 at midnight slowly dipping to 35 by sunrise is not nearly as dangerous as a prediction of 38 at 9pm, continuing to drop to 35 at 1am and holding there until 7am. 2-3 hours of exposure to near-freezing is totally different than 5-6 hours of exposure.

At this point, and after seeing the success of this plan 2 years in a row in Suze's garden, I recommend picking an afternoon to install tomato cages, plant out, and then wrap with summerweight row cover. By leaving the row cover in place until early April, you create a slight greenhouse effect on warm days and cushion the evening chills.

If a warm day is expected, then the cover can be pulled back from the tops of the cages to let hot air out. And if a cool night is predicted, then close everything up with small binder clips from Office Depot. It sure beats rushing out to install sheets or blankets.



P.S. I just looked up Weather Underground for N.W. Houston and the lowest temp I saw was mid-40.
__________________
Visit my website for Tomato growing advice for Central and S.E. Texas.
Check out my Tomato Photos
feldon30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6, 2012   #5
marketgal
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: utah
Posts: 6
Default

Not worth the risk. If it does freeze you will have to have a plan B and will have wasted all that effort. Tomatoes will not start to take off until the soil warms up anyways. If you wait a couple of weeks the ground will be warmer and the plants should take off. Tomato plants should double in size every two weeks. If the soil is cold they will just sit there. The soil will be cold if it's still getting down to 40's and high 30's. They may even get stunted. I like warm feet and so do tomatoes.
marketgal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 6, 2012   #6
Keger
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Richmond, TX
Posts: 299
Default

That makes a lot of sense. I planted about 70 plants, or about 25% of what I will, just to see. But I agree with you. The redo thing isnt much fun.
Keger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7, 2012   #7
feldon30
SETTFest™ Coordinator
 
feldon30's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 5,130
Default

Up north, jumping the gun on planting tomatoes outside rarely pays dividends. As you say, the soil is too cold. However the interesting thing about S.E. Texas is that the soil temperature is usually warm enough that, even though we are sometimes dipping down into the mid-30's at night, the roots will grow, and when it gets warm the plants will take off like a rocket.

The last 2 years I gardened in Houston, we had a near-freeze event the 1st or 2nd week of April. There's no way I could wait that long to plant, since peak harvest is the last week of May/first week of June and everything is on the decline sliding into July.

The hardest part about growing tomatoes in S.E. Texas is planting earlier than logic seems to dictate, and then being prepared for those 2-3 scary cold nights. The end result is worth it though! And I think wrapping your plants in row cover from day one, and just leaving it there until all danger is gone is the way to go. You might even gain a few days growth with the slight greenhouse effect.
__________________
Visit my website for Tomato growing advice for Central and S.E. Texas.
Check out my Tomato Photos
feldon30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 11, 2012   #8
Keger
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Richmond, TX
Posts: 299
Default

Looks like we have nights in the mid 60's the next 10 days. Lots of rain, looks like a good way to start. Got a couple hundred planys in. More going in. Thanks for the help, and I am going to check out the festival in Gonzales, not that far from me.
Keger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:15 PM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2014 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★