Garden talk: When to finally plant heat-loving veggies this Memorial Day weekend

Are we done with frost in Michigan? Can we plant the hot-weather-loving plants?

We are done with frost across Michigan. This should even include the most frost-prone areas of interior northern Lower Michigan and probably even the Upper Peninsula.

Certainly the southern half of Lower Michigan will only get as cool as 45 degrees in the coldest spots Saturday morning. That’s nowhere near cold enough for a frost. It’s not even cold enough to shock the tropical plants we like to have for a summer plant here in Michigan.

Warm loving plants waiting to be planted (Mark Torregrossa | MLive)

Temperatures will start to turn hot after Saturday. There should be no way for a frosting cold to come back into Michigan, until of course this fall.

So plant anything you want to grow.

But you should wait until at least Sunday to plant seeds of the hot-loving vegetables. Hot-loving vegetables are pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupes, all winter squashes, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans and dry beans.

Why do you want to wait on the above vegetables (some are actually technically fruits)? These seeds need to imbibe at a warm temperature. Is that a new word for you? It was a new word for me just two years ago when CropScout Christie taught me about it.

Imbibe, when talking about seeds, means when the seed first starts soaking in water. If the soil is moist when you plant the seed, imbibing starts right away. If you have dry soil when you plant, imbibing starts just after a rain.

Seeds need their warmest water during the first day or two after planting, when the imbibing is occurring. Pumpkin seeds, melons seeds and the other seeds mentioned above want to imbibe with 65 degree to 70 degree soil temperatures and thus the same water temperatures in the soil.

So it’s a good idea to wait until the sun comes out Sunday before you plant Michigan’s hottest-weather-loving vegetables.

With the warmth of Memorial Day, Tuesday and Wednesday, your seeds could bring a sprout out of the ground in an amazingly short time.