The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

May 6, 2013

Snowy impact on gardening not too bad, depending on crop

OSKALOOSA — How harmful was this past week's snow for area gardeners' plants?

Suzette Striegel, county horticulturist with Mahaska County's ISU Extension office, said she was in “complete awe” after seeing snow on the ground Friday morning. “This is one of those things where, years from now, we'll be able to say, 'there was a snowstorm in May.'”

Striegel explained that the impact of the recent snow may not have been so bad. She said most warm weather plants like tomatoes don't usually get planted until the middle of May. Warm weather plants like these, including grapes, are less apt to handle continued cold weather, she said.

Plants like radishes that grow underground, are less susceptible to the potential damage caused by cold weather, noted Striegel.

“We do need it to warm up soon,” said Striegel on Friday afternoon.

Those interested in keeping tabs on planting-related information can call Iowa State University's “Hortline” at (515) 294-3108. People can also find information at http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/NPKnowledge/soiltemphistory.html.

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