False Hope

The springtime rule of thumb in Colorado is you don’t plant anything before Mother’s Day. I have learned the hard way to follow this rule. Literally hundreds of my hard-earned dollars have been thrown away on a couple of occasions because the sunny days and my eagerness to be One With My Garden gave me false hope. The seedlings were barely in the ground when the temperature dropped below zero and the seedlings took a deep seedling breath and died.

Not this year, I promised myself. I won’t plant until after Mother’s Day, I assured myself. In fact, I said, patting myself on the back, I won’t even be fooled by the fact that Mother’s Day was early this year. I will wait an additional few days just to be safe.

And so I waited. Of course, waiting didn’t suggest that I couldn’t shop for my plants. I made my way to my favorite garden center where I bought gerbera daisies to plant in my front flower box under our mailbox. I bought herbs that I put in a pot. I I bought two tomato plants to grow in my Earthbox. And then I sat back and waited until the Friday after Mother’s Day. I set out to plant.

Unfortunately, in the midst of planting, personal issues required me to drop what I was doing and fly to AZ for a few days. Bill and I returned the next Thursday. The sun was shining and the temperature was in the mid-80s. Despite the warm temperatures, weather forecasters had dire warnings: the temperatures would drop below freezing and the metro area would get three to six inches of snow the next day.

COVER YOUR PLANTS, they told us.

I did, in fact, immediately go out and put plastic over what I had already planted when I learned I needed to leave town. I gently placed a plastic baggie over my frail basil plant, and put a sturdier bag over my gerbera daisies. I brought my herb pot into the house, along with the tomatoes which I am happy to say I hadn’t yet planted.

All this is to say that the temperature warmed up enough yesterday that I was able to finish my planting. My tomatoes are tucked into their spring/summer home, where I hope they will grow and bear yummy fruit in late summer. I uncovered my daisies, which look a little worse for wear, but I believe they will rally. My basil might not make it, but I will give it a chance before I put in another plant.

Later this week, I plan on putting petunias in the garden space that borders our patio, as I usually do. I think I’m safe in assuming that freezing temperatures are in our rear view mirror.

However, you never really know with Springtime in the Rockies.

3 thoughts on “False Hope

  1. I changed my rule about Mother’s Day and now it is Memorial Day! Even here in Missouri!

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