Growing backyard vegetables in Southern California
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
How bout this past weekend's storm which dumped a whole lot of rain and high winds Sunday night. With the overnight temperatures getting down to the low 40's, I felt a sense of relief that I successfully fought the urge to get the plants in the ground last week.
Tomatoes and peppers need the soil temperature to be at least in the 60's, with the average overnight temps to be in the mid 50's. If the soil is not warm enough, the plants will languish making themselves vulnerable to all sorts of pests and disease.
If you don't have a soil thermometer, here's a great way to tell if your soil is ready, no joke: Sit your bare ass (not to be confused with the bear-ass, that would qualify as a registrable offense) in the dirt and if you can remain comfortable for 60 seconds, your plants are ready to go in. For me, I'll just wait until the last week of April. For those brave souls who prefer to live on the edge, try to be discreet. And if the neighbors happen to catch a glimpse, just tell 'em you got a little behind in the garden.