I've heard it a thousand times. May 15 is the frost-free date for our Zone 5 garden. So when I put four of my cotton seedlings out when we got our first extended warm spell of spring a few weeks ago, I was plenty forewarned. But the temptation to get this cotton growing in the garden was too great. Cotton can take anywhere from 120-160 days from germination to bloom, so I was trying to push the boundaries as far on the front end as possible. And last night, Mother Nature reminded me why we have frost-free dates in the first place.
I should have known better. In fact, I did know better. And that's why two-thirds of the cotton seedlings are still in the house, waiting for a safer planting date in just a few days. I guess in the garden, it pays to hedge your bets.