Springtime Has Arrived, But Keep An Eye Out For One Last Frost

PHOTO: Rowena McDermott - moonstruckfarms.com

It seems plants and trees have had enough of winter and they are springing into action with vibrant flowers and green hues dotting the desert. It's time to plant those flowers and garden plants for a great haul this summer.

Here we are with Spring in the air, and all the fruit trees are absolutely gorgeous this year, thanks to all the rain! In most areas of the High Desert, you are free to begin your planting of summer crops, including tomatoes, peppers, and green beans, but here on the South side of Phelan, Pinon Hills, Oak Hills, and Wrightwood, we must proceed very carefully. Not only do temperatures at night need to be above 50 before planting summer crops, but we need to safeguard against another frost that has come as late as June here. As I type this, there is a cool down in about ten days, which hopefully will just bring us back to more comfortable Spring temperatures than the 80s we are looking at this week, but be prepared to protect any summer plants with a cover not touching the plants if temperatures drop dangerously low. Please don’t even attempt basil until June. It is one of the most tender crops of all.

Last time I wrote, we had not seen a single tulip yet, and as I write now, we are bringing in the last of the field tulips, and the hydroponic trays were rushed back into the cool room to slow them down, so we did not have ALL the field and hydroponic tulips blooming at once!! Temperatures are in the 80s, trying to fool us into planting everything out, but I will be risking dahlias at this time, and that is all, and I will be prepared to throw a row cover over those if temperatures drop. The tomato plants are just being potted up for hardening off and then will be available for sale at the market and put into our fields in late May. As the tulips leave empty beds, we are filling them with the flower trays that have been growing in the basement and will be doing our first seeding of sunflowers for the season. Sunflowers are a little frost-hardy, so we are not worried about putting them out now. The ranunculus are just starting to take off as the temperatures warm, and we are even beginning to see a few anemones from the transplanted ones, and the peonies are budding!!

The Phelan Certified Farmers Market is honored to partner with the Ecology Center, which administers the Market Match grant we run at the market, gifting up to $10 in free farm fresh produce to EBT and P-EBT customers. This can add up to $40 in farm fresh produce to a household budget each month. The Phelan Farmers Market is every Monday 2 pm to 6 pm at 4128 Warbler Road in Phelan, with the exception of Memorial Day, which we will be closed for, and a few other holidays. The Wrightwood Farmers Market is every Friday 3 pm to 6 pm in the Wrightwood Community Center parking lot.

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