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Fluctuating Temperatures Prove a Challenge for Charlottesville Gardeners

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Fifth Season Gardening suggests holding off on planting outdoors Fifth Season Gardening suggests holding off on planting outdoors
Growing plants indoors can help give them time to mature Growing plants indoors can help give them time to mature
Odd weather patterns recently have negatively affected plants Odd weather patterns recently have negatively affected plants
Fifth Season Gardening is located on Preston Ave Fifth Season Gardening is located on Preston Ave
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

With the constant changes in weather patterns lately, this spring is proving to be a challenge for some gardeners who are looking to start exercising their green thumbs.

The warmer weather a few weeks ago may have caused some to jump into planting a little too early. Garden experts are suggesting eager planters to wait a few more weeks before they start the serious work in the garden.

Because of Charlottesville's location at the foot of the mountains, it can often be harder for gardeners to pinpoint when it’s a good time to start planting.

"It's been a little bit chillier than other years, but really here at the foot of the mountains we get a lot of unexpected weather this time of year," says Pam Scott, the plant manager at Fifth Season Gardening.

Fifth Season Gardening recommends Virginia Tech’s frost date which is May 10, but you can plant cool weather plants now.

“Cool weather plants are plants that enjoy the warm, clear days - you know, in the 50s - but they still love that chill at night,” says Annette Morgan, a plant associate at Fifth Season. “Kale, cabbage, lettuces, brassicas, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, all of those do really well in that marginal season.”

Fifth Season suggests you hold off until May to plant tender crops like tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. However, you can start growing indoors to give your plants time to mature.

"There's nothing more gratifying than growing your own food," says Morgan. "It's a wonderful hobby, it's healthy, and good for your entire family."

If you're starting plants inside, gardeners suggest keeping them under good light, taking them outside on warmer days, and bringing them back in at night.

For items that have already been planted, it's best to use a frost cover to protect them from the elements.