Thursday, January 15, 2009
12º in the Morning
I asked some horticulture friends of mine yesterday if they could remember the last time the temperature dropped to 12º in Atlanta. None of us could but we figured it had to be at least 15 years ago. We are not used to this any more. We are used to being able to have fresh greens growing in the ground all winter long with minimal or no protection. Earlier in December we had some lows in the low 20's. I covered most of the greens with frost cloth. Some were left with out any cover. Both the covered and uncovered plants came through just fine. Just before Christmas the temperature plummeted to 18º. I got lazy and didn't cover anything. I paid the price. The greens took a beating, the broccoli was ruined and the lettuce wiped out.
In the morning it will be around 12-15º. It is not expected to get much above freezing for a couple of days. I learned my lesson. I covered the recovering greens with frost cloth yesterday while the air, and the soil was still relatively warm. Today it will not get over about 35º. My theory is that by covering yesterday i am trapping as much soil warmth as possible to help protect the plants over the next few days. Do i think my efforts will save the greens? I'm doubtful but Monday we will see.
Will we have to start buying greens and other vegetables from the coop or grocery store? Nope. We have carrots growing. They are covered and will be fine. In our cold frame we have been growing mixed asian greens, lettuce, pea shoots and perennial onions in pots.(these i moved into the basement yesterday afternoon where they will remain until this spate of cold passes on). We have vegetables frozen and canned just for such a occasion.
Tomorrow i'll be working in the basement planting seeds for our early spring crops.