Late Freezes and Unhappy Tomatoes

The question is:

How long can a tomato plant live in a Styrofoam cup?

The answer is:

I don’t know, but it seems we may find out this year.

Around here (in middle Tennessee), the last freeze is officially April 15; however, if you ask any person around these parts when to plant your warm weather crops, they will inevitably say, “Wait until Mother’s Day!”

That’s a whole month!!

But they’re absolutely correct. We will get another frost/freeze/cold snap. Not just one. Probably two. Maybe three.

You won’t find these on your calendar of significate weather events, but here in middle Tennessee, we have five little winters after the real winter. If you’re new to Tennessee, listen up. If you’re just reading because you’re bored, you may still find this interesting.

Winter #1: Redbud Winter. This happens after the beautiful redbud trees have blossomed the beginning of April. Every newcomer and visitor asks what those pretty pink trees are on the side of the roads. They are redbuds. And a cold snap will soon follow!

Winter #2: Dogwood Winter. About a week or two after the redbuds bloom, the white dogwoods bloom. This means a late April cold snap is coming. Put your plants back in the house!

Winter #3: Locust Winter. This always seems to happen about May 5, but just to be safe, we’ll say the first week of May. You will think we reverted back to February as the winds will be brutally chilly.

Winter #4: Blackberry Winter. As soon as you see blooms on your blackberry bushes, pull your sweater out of the closet, as a cold snap will follow. This is usually during the second week of May, right around Mother’s Day.

But, wait, the locals say don’t plant until Mother’s Day, but we still have one more winter!!

Yep, Winter #5: Britches Winter. I don’t know where they come up with these names. I guess they ran out of spring blooms and by the end of May, it’s been warm enough to wear shorts. Well, these couple winter days around the end of May will be so cold, you’ll have to put your britches back on.

So, that’s that. I moved from Michigan, where we have one winter and we can plant on Mother’s Day – to beautiful Tennessee where it’s supposed to be warmer, but now I have five winters and can plant on – oh I don’t know – Mother’s Day.

Please pray for my tomatoes…..

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