The Q&A Archives: Oregon late frost

Question: I'm new to gardening, and I'm a little scared as to whether my young vegetables are going to make it outdoors in this last bit of frost. I just moved zucchini, snap peas, green beans, and cucumbers's been nice spring weather here in oregon, but there was snow in the rain today! Should I do anything to protect my veg?

Answer: I've been so anxious for spring that I've done exactly the same thing in years past. In your area, you can get frost right through the middle of May (May 19 is the projected last frost date) so you may have put your veggie starts out a little too early. The peas and beans probably won't be affected but the summer squash and cukes may show their distress with cold soils and cold air by either refusing to grow or dying back completely. Now that they are in the ground you can try covering them with Reemay (floating row cover) or with Walls-O-Water to help keep the little plants from the cold. I hope it helps. If not, you may have to replant in May.

Just a few things to think about - if you really want to get a jump-start on the veggie growing season you might consider planting in raised beds. The soil in raised beds warms up faster in the spring, especially if you incorporate lots of organic matter which heats up slightly as it is decomposing which will keep the soil temperature a little warmer. You might also want to place floating row cover over the veggie starts as soon as you plant them to help moderate the air temperatures.

Hope your new veggie garden is successful and you have a bountiful harvest!

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