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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Gardeners, farmers gamble on plants with current weather conditions

  • Mother Nature has been teasing local gardeners as they wonder if there will be yet another cold snap this season.
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  • Mother Nature has been teasing local gardeners as they wonder if there will be yet another cold snap this season.
     
    Jeremy Raney, owner of Patriot Foods, began planting his vegetables, which include lettuce, spinach, kale, tomatoes, and peppers, among others, about four weeks ago.
     
    “We’re slowed down a little bit,” he said of his planting season.
     
    Although he began planting nearly a month ago and has experienced cold snaps in between, Raney said he hasn’t lost very many plants. Moreover, the plants that have survived are thriving, he said.
     
    Raney attributed much of his plants survival to covering them when the temperatures dropped too low. He often used orange juice cartons, Raney said.
     
    “I’ve had as many as 100 orange juice cartons covering plants,” he said.
     
    Barring any other issues, Raney said he expects to be able to harvest around the second week of May.
     
    Jane Townsend, a local gardener, said she hasn’t planted yet because the temperature hasn’t been stable.
     
    Townsend said she plans to plant asparagus, tomatoes, and onions as soon as the temperatures.
     
    She said she plans to move forward as soon as the temperatures begin rise, rather than waiting to see if they will stabilize because it is later in the season.
     
    Karl Kozel, a local farmer planning to plant milo this season, said he hasn’t begun planting yet because of the temperatures.
     
    The soil temperature is too low, Kozel said.
     
    “If I planted milo right now, it wouldn’t do anything,” he said.
     
    “This cold weather is killing me,” Kozel added. “I’m sitting here in the wings, jumping up and down wanting to plant, but I know better than to plant right now.”
     
    While this weather may put him behind a week or two for planting, Kozel said he isn’t too worried.
     
    “It’ll warm up,” he said. “It always has before.”
     

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