RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - On a day when a little sleet has been falling in some areas, it's hard to ignore the fact how chilly it's been in the last week. It's certainly frustrating if you have already planted flower and vegetable gardens.
March came in like a lamb bringing us plenty of warm, sunny days and a beautiful start to the spring planting season. For nearly half the month, temperatures climbed well above average with a record high of 84 degrees on March 18th, but we are at the end of March, we are almost into April but we're still not out of the woods yet when it comes to any freeze, or future freezes or frost.
In fact, we had a freeze just the other night, and a freeze is still fair game through mid April. Frost is rare after April 25, but still possible until early May.
So for planting purposes, "right now, it's an excellent planting season for the cool crop vegetables," said Doug Hensel of the Great Big Greenhouse. "That's your leafy vegetables, your spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale..all excellent to be planted for this time of year outside and they love this type of weather that we are having right now."
These type of vegetables don't like warm temperatures: Tomatoes, peppers, and squashes thrive in the late spring warmth so hold off on those for a little longer. If you got over anxious and need to protect your vegetables or even your flowering annuals, avoid covering them with plastic.
"Covering with a blanket, or a sheet of burlap, or a pillow case...all that works very well," Hensel said.
And don't forget to remove that blanket early in the morning, like us, plants need to breathe and enjoy the sunlight.
So until that winter chill is just a memory, "my advice has always been watch the weather, watch the forecast," Hensel said.
And you can always get our latest forecast on air, online, and on your smart phone with our NBC12 weather app.
There you'll find not only what's happening on radar but we have our 7-day forecast that will tell you if a frost or freeze might be something you need to worry about.