How Do Temperatures Affect Gardening?

19 May 2014, 13:32

Oftentimes gardeners will start growing seedlings on their windowsills indoors from March onwards, depending on what they are growing. It is still often too cold to get things started outside at this time of year, and this pattern can continue well into April and even May.

It is imperative not to be fooled by those nice warm days you can sometimes get during April and May. This can result in dying plants if you try planting things out too early. Indeed, this is why the process known as ‘hardening off’ is used frequently at this time of year. The outdoor temperatures during the day are usually quite fine for situating young seedlings and plants outside, but nothing could be further from the truth when the sun sets. At this point the temperature can drop far enough for those young seedlings to bite the dust. Hardening off means they get the sunshine and warmth during the day – both things they love – and they can be taken back in at night to protect them. Once this has been done for a few days and the weather improves, they can be transplanted outside.

Temperatures can affect gardening in other ways as well. Some plants love colder weather. Kale does extremely well in cold temperatures and even tastes better once the frost has been at it. This wouldn’t hold true of other plants and vegetables, which can suffer immensely if the frost gets at them. As you can see, if you are a gardener it makes sense to learn as much as you can about temperatures. This is so you are able to understand how the weather conditions affect various plants in various conditions.

It all sounds very complex but as you can see there are ways in which you can make life easier for yourself. Understanding what each plant needs in terms of warmth, shade, light and associated temperature is the best way to make sure you can make the most of your plants and of whatever the weather throws at you. Some of this is basically trial and error, as in the UK we never quite know what the weather will throw at us next.

However there is lots of information online about how to grow certain things and how to make the most of the typical weather and temperature patterns in your particular area. The more you learn and understand about temperatures and how they affect your garden, the easier it will be to make the most of whatever you want to grow. You might even find you can grow plants throughout the coldest parts of the year once you know what to grow and what type of weather conditions it likes the most. Anything is possible.