FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Every year we see 70-degree temperatures in mid-April and every year it seems we’re turned into April fools when it snows the very next week.
Horticulture Educator Terri Theisen with the Purdue Extension office here in Allen County says it’s not so much the snow you have to worry about than it is the ground temperature if you planted your garden early.
"I’m not terribly concerned with snow because snow works like a blanket for the plants that are there and it kind of just tucks them in a little bit," Theisen said. "It’s when it gets cold that we have an issue. So, a couple of days ago it got a little too cold overnight, so some of the plants may have seen some damage."
If you’ve already planted a vegetable that grows best when it’s warm, you could have some trouble says Lynda Heavrin, Manager of Landscape and Horticulture with the Fort Wayne Parks Department.
She's also the coordinator for the community garden.
"The only problem is when people try to take the tropical plants we grow for gardens like tomatoes, peppers, squash, and try to put that in the ground now, they either rot or will just sit there until the ground warms up."
So, if you’re eager to plant something once the snow is gone, you can plant cold crops like snap peas, cabbage, carrots, and even potatoes, which won’t die when soil temps dip below freezing.
If you've decided to take up gardening during your spare time following the stay-at-home order or you're just new to gardening in general, Theisen says start small.
"Try a couple of plants of things you really like to eat because if you are successful in the first year, you’re more inclined to do it again," Theisen said.
If you're curious about the timing of when to plant more sensitive vegetables, both Heavrin and Theisen say it's generally agreed that after Mother's Day is when it's safe to place.
To learn when to plant specific vegetables, there's an extensive list provided by Purdue University.