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Re: planting time in short-season areas

In a message dated 96-05-17 11:19:30 EDT, you write:

>You folks who live in short-season areas: When do you dig?

Here in Newfield NY we can expect frost until the end of May.  June 1 is the
traditional "safe" date to set out tomatoes, peppers, etc.  Even then frost
protection is a good  idea for another week or so.  We can expect the first
killing frost the first or second week in Sept.   About 100 frost-free days
if we're lucky.

My TBs begin bloom about June 1.  I dig and divide the last 2 weeks in July.
 That's also when our local sales are held.  It is a bit early for some
varieties (the increases aren't well-developed yet), but I really want all my
stuff replanted by the second week in August at the latest.  It is critical
to get those new rhizomes well-rooted before winter, or the damage from our
miserable freeze-thaw cycles can be very bad indeed.  

ALSO, if it's real dry after I replant (common occurrence), I'll try and do
some watering.  Otherwise the plants will kind of sit there in suspended
animation until it starts raining in the fall--but that's too late for
optimum growth and root anchoring.

This year the season is especially late.  Temp. went down to  27 at the
'"official" weather station here Monday night (we are always 3-5 degrees
colder) and scared the dickens out of me.  Fortunately the water treatment I
administered early the next morning helped, or the irises are tougher than I
thought.  There was damage, mostly to bloomstalks and some leaves, but it is
minimal and I am very happy about that.

Dorothy Fingerhood
Newfield, NY 

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