It’s Time To Plant For Summer, But Watch Out For Low Overnight Temps

PHOTO: Rowena McDermott -

Summertime is fast approaching: Get those summertime plants started, but be cautious with overnight temperatures still reaching down to the 30s.

We are in the last days of Spring and enjoying gorgeous Spring temperatures, though, as I was afraid, the upper elevations did drop quite low in temperature. My eldest daughter graduated high school almost 14 years ago, the first week in June here in Phelan, and we all froze because temperatures were in the 30s during graduation!! For most of you, summer planting is in full swing, but if you are anywhere in the High Desert or mountains where temperatures are still cool at night, save your basil plants!! Basil is the most tender of all and is not happy with nighttime temperatures below 50, but your tomatoes, if not super tiny, will be good down to 35 degrees without a hard freeze. Here on the High Desert floor, we are experiencing our afternoon winds, which will most likely continue throughout the summer, so remember to mulch, mulch, mulch!! Compost is a great first layer of mulch, providing nutrition and wind protection, and your next best layer of mulch would be pine needles. Our soil is very alkaline here, and we really cannot add enough acid to it, so pine needles are always a great addition.

At Moonstruck, we have had a blockbuster year of tulips and are now experiencing our first large peony harvest. Peonies take a minimum of three years to establish before you start cutting the blooms. We have been buying roots for the last five years and are finally enjoying their gorgeous blooms and scent in bulk. We cut our first Diana Parks, a gorgeous huge red peony, and I will definitely be adding more of these!! The ranunculus is nearing the end of its season, and as many growers are experiencing across the world, we had an “okay” harvest. These beauties are already a very short season, but when you couple that with high temperatures or super low during Spring, it shortens the season and the quality of the ranunculus. Many growers are just eliminating them from their selection due to the great number of hours they require, with very low results.

The markets are enjoying great temperatures and are a joy to peruse on a Monday or Friday afternoon. The Phelan Certified Farmers Market runs on Mondays. From 2pm to 6pm at 4128 Warbler Road in Phelan, and accepts EBT and, in addition, is a proud partner of the Market Match grant gifting up to $10 in FREE fruits and vegetables each Monday. See the Manager in the first farm booth for more information. The Wrightwood Certified Farmers Market runs each Friday from 3 pm to 6 pm, but I imagine I will switch to Summer Hours shortly, from 4pm to 7pm. The market is located in the Wrightwood Community Center parking lot just off Park Avenue.

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