Ok, I know that last week it was hot and we had temperatures close to 80 degrees. It felt like spring was here. Everyone was asking me, “where are the impatiens?” And “why don’t you have the tomatoes yet?” This is Santa Barbara; don’t we only have one season? Can’t we plant anything, anytime?
No, we can’t. It’s February. This week it’s cooler. The nighttime temperature can still drop into the 30’s again. When you are tucked into your nice warm bed (with the heater on), the plants outside are dealing with frosty nights, cold soil, foggy mornings and maybe sunny days. Cold-tender plants like, tomatoes, squash, peppers, eggplant, cukes as well as bedding plants like begonias and impatiens will suffer with the cold soil and cool nights. It retards their growth pattern and subjects them to disease, like Early Blight and other fungus problems.
So even though you will find the summer veggies available elsewhere, try to hold off. Just a few more weeks of preparing your beds and waiting until the soil is warm and the weather is stable makes a huge difference to the health and productivity of you plants later this summer. They will take off so much faster when you plant them when both the soil and air temps are warm.We will have all the warm season veggies the first week in March. And don’t forget, we will have our annual tomato class, March 9. Learn everything you need to know about growing the best tomatoes you can.Be patient, we have all summer. Get out and enjoy the sunshine, listen to the birds and pull a few weeds. The tomatoes are coming!!!
P.S. If the buds have not opened on your fruit trees you still have time for one more dormant spray.