Gardeners have been out in full force getting ready for the upcoming season with the recent temperatures exceeding 20 degrees, with it expected to be even hotter for the Victoria Day long weekend.  

Owner of Cornell Design & Landscaping, Leslie Cornell says with temperatures rising, people can finally start to leave their plants outside.  

“Now the ground is warming up, we’ve had some rain, and the air is warm, get it planted,” says Cornell. “Be ready to put a box over anything if it’s going to freeze overnight but get it in the ground and let it start growing while it’s a little cooler at night.” 

The same can be said for those vegetable plants that have been started in your house, which will allow them to adjust to the warmer weather.  

“It should be outside, so it doesn’t sunburn when you take it outside,” adds Cornell. “Usually, you take all your tender stuff out and set it out in the sun until it gets toughed up. When it toughens up, you’re good to go and put them out and plant them.” 

Some care and attention will be needed for those fleshier-stemmed plants with overnight lows anywhere from 2 to 10 degrees expected in the next few days.  

“All of your cucumbers, cantaloupes, melons, tomatoes, and peppers won’t tolerate frost.”  

With temperatures heating up, people will start to think about watering their plants or vegetables more frequently than a month ago.  

When it comes to watering your plants, Cornell says that it could be tricky to know when and how much they need.  

“Plants actually close their stomata and that’s how they breathe. They close that when it’s too hot, so they don’t move their water. You want to make sure there is moisture in the ground so when they do open their stomata and allow themselves to move that water, it will be available to them.”  

She recommends watering those plants early in the morning to allow them to absorb that moisture throughout the day.  

“Watering at night can lead to more fungal and bacterial problems because you go to bed with too much moisture in the air by the leaves. If it’s watered in the morning, you will have dry leaves by the evening and you will have a good healthy plant.” 

Once those flowers or vegetable plants are in the ground, Cornell shared some tips on how to mitigate or eliminate weeds from taking over.  

“Use grass clipping in between your rows to keep the weeds down and it will also help control the moisture. You want it quite thin, so it doesn’t heat up. For the soil structure itself adding compost every year is a very good practice. It helps with the structure, and it gives a good place for fertilizers.” 

If anyone has any questions or concerns about any of their gardening needs, Cornell says to contact her at 306-693-8733 or visit their location, which is 11 kilometres south of Moose Jaw on Highway 2.