The Age-Old Question

The Age-Old Question

If you know what this photograph represents, then you also know the question I’m talking about.

This is a twig from a mesquite tree, plucked this morning, March 12, 2017. The oldsters said that when the mesquite trees leaf out, that means we are done with killing frosts for this season. (I know of at least one time in the last decade when that was proven wrong).

Others say to wait until after Easter to plant you tender plants. But Easter is very late this year — April 16. If you wait till then, you will have missed out on a lot of valuable growing time.

So, once again, here’s the question: Is it time to plant __________?

The answer is an unequivocal, “I can’t answer that! I can’t control the weather!”

But here are some guidelines:

  1. The AVERAGE last frost date in Texoma is March 25.
  2. Many things can be planted without worrying about frost, like trees, shrubs, perennials and some vegetables and annual bedding plants. For instance, petunias, snapdragons and dianthus can withstand a light frost.
  3. Tomatoes, peppers and the warm-season flowers like begonias, marigolds and the popular ornamental sweet potato cannot take any temperatures below 32 degrees F. You can plant them now if you are prepared to protect them in case of a frost.
  4. Some plants should not be planted until April or May, because they do not like cool soil temperatures. So even if we are past the frost date, wait until night temperatures are staying consistently above 60 degrees to plant periwinkles, caladium and Bermudagrass seed.

But come on in and start you spring planting — we will advise you about specific plants not on this list.