an update from Opportunity Gardener and AmeriCorps VISTA Erin King
Everybody Talks About the Weather, But Nobody Does Anything About It. – Charles Dudley Warner
Last time you heard from me and of my garden’s progress, I talked about the rain. Farmers and gardeners heavily rely on the weather, so it seems the shifting weather patterns will be a recurring theme in my entries.
Just when I thought my garden was out of the danger zone, I saw the freeze warning on the weather forecast Monday morning. Of course, when I read the warning, I thought to myself, ‘Well yeah I’m freezing.’ I proceeded to complain with my coworkers about how cold it had gotten, how it felt like winter again, and almost never made the connection that the freeze warning on Accuweather was meant for gardeners.
That was until I began bragging to Trish about how my radishes and leaf lettuce were finally growing their first real leaves after all of the rain on Sunday.
That was when she told me that I was going to need to cover my lettuce that evening after work, or I’d risk my lettuce leaves breaking in the frost. I asked if I should cover my spinach, peas, carrots, and radishes. She said that they’d probably be fine, but that she always errs on the side of covering most things.
Then I overheard a conversation between Trish and a client, going over the kinds of things you can use to cover your young plants. Trish mentioned one year that she took a whole bunch of clothes that were supposed to be donated to a second-hand store and covered all of her plants with pants and shirts. She said it looked like a garage sale had exploded on her garden.
Well, if I hadn’t already been convinced I should ‘do something about the weather,’ as Charles Dudley Warner said, then I had to photograph the Garden Greenhorns fighting cold drizzle and wind to cover the plants at the farm with our row covers, (sheets of fabric long and wide enough to cover the rows and keep them safe from the frost).
When I got home after work, I thought I’d look for an old shower curtain, but couldn’t find where it had wound up in the last move. But I found the falling-apart tarp we’d used to transport compost to my garden with some old seedling trays and an old blanket. I more or less literally “tucked in” my bed for the cold, frosty night.
Now, I can’t say for sure whether the night got frost-cold, but I will say when I removed the bricks from my blanket on Tuesday morning, the bricks had been frosted to the blanket. But my plants were as happy and healthy as ever!