The cold weather finally broke and we have seasonably warm (mid 70â€˜s) weather forecast for the next week. So the covers came off the garden. Recall, in the last 10 days we’ve had five below freezing and three with what the meteorologists call a hard freeze. I think that’s temps below freezing for more than 4 hours. The only really sensitive crops under cover were the tomatoes and peppers. Gone. No surprise there. I ended up with a 5 gallon bucket full of green tomatoes, some of which will ripen, others that will be fried or baked green. The bushes were full and the roots clean so no question, I have broken the code on growing tomatoes.
Some particular areas of the garden were covered with a single layer of frost cloth, other areas with a double layer. It would have all been under double cover if I didn’t have the tall tomato plants to worry about. With the tent pole affect they create, the individual covers are not large enough to do the whole garden so around the edges, there’s only a single layer.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the lettuce, spinach, and parsley planted in the side garden – an old fire pit – made it just fine. No signs of any damage. This side garden is located closer to the jungle and is much more protected from the NW winds than the main garden. So the combination of a more protected area and cold tolerant plants resulted in 100%survival, even with only a single cover.
In the main garden, kind of a mixed story. Celery, carrots,radishes, peas and Swiss Chard, no problems. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards and brussels sprouts – not so sure. They definitely are alive but looking like they’ve had a tough fight. Some of this might be a lack of water. It’s been very dry for a week with no way to water things under the covers so part of the problem may be just that. I watered them all well and perhaps a day or two of water and sun will revive them. I’m calling them â€œon life supportâ€. Some of the cabbage is pickable – not full size but large enough for a meal.