SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Now that the weather is finally feeling like Spring, you may be wondering when you can start planting your gardens.
Here at our downtown KELOLAND News station, we’ve already got some flowers brightening up the sidewalk, but did we plant too soon? What if it gets cold again — with the prolonged winter we had, it seems anything is possible. That’s why we wanted to see what a couple of our KELO meteorologists, and resident gardeners, had to say about that.
“After the winter we’ve had, I think people really have the itch to get out there and start putting plants in and the way the forecast looks right now, I say go ahead and do it. You have the green light, but still pay attention to the weather,” KELOLAND meteorologist Scot Mundt said.
Meteorologists Scot Mundt and Brian Karstens have both started their gardens already.
“Just starting with some of the early season things I consider the hardier plants — potatoes, onions, all those kinds of things,” Karstens said. “And we think about what we should be planting now, we’re still early enough in the month of May that still those frost dates, average last frost dates, are still ahead of us.”
Karstens says typically the last frost happens around May 10. Of course, Mundt reminds us we’ve seen late cold weather before.
“Record lows, if you really want to talk about record lows and cold air, we’ve had temperatures fall to the middle thirties in June, but maybe we don’t want to talk about that,” Mundt said.
Soil temperature also plays a big role in planting. Karstens says anything above 50 degrees favors better germination for seeds.
“You’ll notice the northeast part of South Dakota still lagging behind into west central Minnesota, but we anticipate that those numbers this weekend will continue to rise at or above the 50 degree threshold,” Karstens said.
Karstens also suggests giving your plants a little extra water ahead of this weekend’s rain because soil moisture has been lacking in many parts of KELOLAND.