Cool days and nights can be a problem for tender warm-season crops such peppers, melons, and eggplants. Temperatures in the 40sF won’t kill these plants but their growth will be stunted.
Wait to plant out very tender crops until the lowest temperatures do not fall below 50°F/10°C—55 or 60 degrees is even better. If you plant sooner use row covers, plastic tunnels, or cloches—or even baskets or cardboard boxes at night–to protect these plants from cold during their formative early weeks of development.
Pre-warming the soil before planting with solar heat absorbing black plastic is a good idea as well.
Take heart, if you wait to plant eggplants and peppers when the temperature are optimal, you will actually get an earlier and more abundant crop.
Sweet peppers grow best in air temperatures 65° to 80°F. Peppers are most easily grown from transplants. Start seed indoors 7 to 10 weeks before the date you intend to set peppers into the garden. Continue reading>>>
Eggplant is very tender perennial grown as an annual. Eggplant requires 100 to 140 warm days with temperatures consistently between 70° and 90°F to reach harvest. Continue reading>>>
Melons, squash, and cucumbers grow best where the summer is hot, dry, and almost always sunny. Both cloudy and rainy weather will slow and all but stop Cucurbit family growth. Continue reading>>>