Why you wait until late May to kick seedlings outside

I don’t know why but it annoys me when people refer to a certain season or time of year by a holiday, especially a minor holiday. I don’t tell people it annoys me when they do it, because it’s unreasonable to be annoyed but an innocent comment. But when people say something like, “It’s safe to transplant seedlings outside on Mother’s Day, right?”, what I say is “No! That will bite you in the ass. Don’t be fooled by the nice weather.” Wait until like the third, even fourth, week in May in Colorado to transplant tomatoes, peppers or squash. Actually you could plant squash the week before, and it will be OK if it doesn’t sprout before it snows one more time.

This was taken May 19, 2017:


The snowstorm ripped our shade sail and damaged trees. There actually was a tomato I was heartless enough to put outside before this, and I covered it with a bucket before the storm. It survived; here it is today, though smaller than its gardenmate behind it (that’s the one looking out the window at the snow).


This bed, on the other hand, was planted in March and weathered snow, sleet and hail, which you should expect from greens, peas and carrots:

There is corn as well, planted in early May, but it hadn’t sprouted before the weather turned on us. It sprouted right after the snow melted for good.

This is the orach planted from last year’s seeds. It’s a little like spinach but heartier and more interesting. It comes in green, purplish red and gold. It also grows higher off the ground than spinach, so you don’t have to clean so much dirt off of it. Spinach is so twentieth century.


Author: Fire Horse

I live in Colorado with my husband Metal Pig, our son Evil Genius ("EG") and, for some reason, two Dalmatianesque dogs. One of my dreams is to show a respectable return on the investment I put into growing food in our suburban yard. We love plants but eat them too. I use grandiose terms when describing my garden, like "crops" and "nitrogen levels" but it's too small to be a farm. Maybe one day I'll hitch a miniature horse to a tiny plow and take out the turf grass in the front yard to make room for growing grains.

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