"Pic-Of-The-Week" Irises by canesisters
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It is 6:40 and 26*! Will there be anything left?
did you get everything covered??
Depends on what you have. I've heard that if you spray them with a water hose before the frost thaws on them that it can help. I've never tried that so I don't know if it really works. And that will depend on how hard the frost is and what the plant is.
Good luck!!! Sometimes it is bad and sometimes you are lucky.
Sorry, '4acres. In your absence and as we wait , I went rambling off . . . without leaving the comfort of my south window.
We have now arrived at the time of year where my first interest of the day is the weather report. Mostly, I'm just trying to get the outdoor work done. There is little planted in the gardens; no transplants are out there yet. The soil is too cold for what little seed has been sprinkled in a row to germinate and come up. Mostly, I'm concerned about my comfort . . .
It is still a little unusual if it does not freeze. What I have been concerned about yesterday afternoon and today is the chance of rain. It is 40% with scattered showers after 11am. That's not especially worrisome even for a fair weather gardener, like me . What is of more concern is the wind between 10 and 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. They'll get that wind wrong half the time and it will be more windy even by their own measurements and especially in my open, larger veggie garden.
What's a little interesting is the snow that's being shown on the radar map just west of here. It seems like a tiny storm and the temperature never fell much below the current 39°F.
I'm talking thru my hat but plants are damaged by frost in a couple of ways. The freezing of the tissue causes it to break down but plants also may just become dehydrated as fluid is pulled out of them. Good soil moisture will not only keep the plant hydrated as best as possible but it also creates water vapor near the soil surface where the plants are. That may be a bit warmer than a few feet higher.
Sprinklers during the time of freezing create that same water vapor while washing the plants with water. Ice may form and that creates another risk - weight. A self-manufactured ice storm can break tree branches and generally flatten things. Still, it is sometimes worth the risk. Washing frost off . . . I think that's basically bathing the plants and, if done soon enuf, can be of help. The timing, perhaps related to the thawing but probably relative to how long they have been experiencing freezing temperature, is important.
I can share that picture of my frost covered snapdragons from last year. I'd run the sprinklers from 3am that morning. The ice-encrusted little plants were like stalagmites . I think all of them survived but I did lose a few asters. Broccoli, cabbage and kale were fine.
I am very pleased! I lost a few tomato plants and the potatoes look rough but everything else in the garden looks good. We had covered the corn, beans, squash, cucumber, etc with hay and or 5 gallon buckets. The strawberries I covered with quilts, sure didn't want to lose them as they are ripening. I think the potatoes will put out new shoots and I have a few dozen tomato plants waiting in the sunroom to go outside. I haven't checked the orchard since I didn't try to save it. This was the first freeze since March 10th. You can see why we got so zealous about planting. Eighties most days and fifties at night gave us too much confidence! Our usual rule is plant after tax day since tomorrow is last frost date. I don't regret planting early, I have a sungold with small tomatoes on the plant. It took an hour the last two days to cover/uncover and we have a head start with most of the garden. We will cover a few things again tonight since 36 is the prediction but then no more in the forecast.
Our biggest problem after this cold spell is dry soil. We haven't had rain here in several weeks. I watered the green peas Tuesday because when I was weeding found lots of peas not germinated from lack of moisture. I have said all spring that we were going to have a dry summer. We had a very wet winter, rain, rain, rain but now so dry. When most of the state had an inch and half last week, we got .08 inch. For some reason it just goes around us here on the edge of the plateau.
Perils of gardening..... guess that would make a good book title. lol
Happy gardening friends!
That's great news 4acres. I think I got over zealous also - here, you plant after Easter. I planted my tomatoes weeks ago, although we didn't get a frost, we did get 4" of rain and they are a mess. If we don't get any rain for several days, I think mine will be ok. I'll be sending rain thoughts your way!
Monkey and I went out last night and covered the tomatoes. They all made it thru with no harm. I haven't set out the eggplant or any of that again, but I did bring in the lettuce and whatnot. I REALLY need to get the lettuce in the ground, but it's doing so well in the containers that I hate to even move it!
Our grapes didn't get covered this time either, and I can see some of the leaves are a bit shriveled tho. We lost a few of the developing pears, but there are still a handful on there growing.
Pleased that you are both pleased where frost hit!
Our little snow storm tracked too far north but 44°F and complete cloud cover means I can't get away from this greenhouse - haven't even cracked a vent out there and it isn't even room-temperature at 10am . . .
I'll believe the 60° forecast when I see it. The temptation is to run off with the greenhouse either open or closed but I've only got 1 automatic fan and things could absolutely cook in an hour of bright sunshine - while we are miles away and probably under clouds. The alternative is frigid wind and maybe a hailstorm . . .
Last edited by digitS' (04/12/2012 1:14 pm)
Steve, I am wishing good warm weather for you! Being stuck is not good, but I understand the not trusting to leave it to chance. Too much work to throw away. The cold we had would not have been bad if we had a normal spring with snowshowers, cold, damp weather but to have lured us into summer with 70's and 80's for 4 weeks then get to 26* really hurts.
Just think in a few weeks you won't have a moment to spare because all your minutes will be in the garden!
I was out covering everything with sheets, row cover and hay I could think of! Everything survived just fine, but they are calling for another frost tonight. I didn't think to cover certain flowering plants, but I did bring in potted plants off the front porch.
My cannas came up early and the tropical leaves on those were curled under and black this morning. So I hope they survive one more night of it!