Prepare, plant, water... freeze?

I'm excited about my new veggie beds, and I'm determined to make them productive this year. Mother Nature is helping... sort of. Sunday night it started raining, which is perfect for any newly-planted veggie starts or seeds. A good soaking is just what they need.

Unfortunately, that rain turned into a couple of inches of wet snow. Most seed packets and plant tags don't say "cover with snow after planting", do they?


I'm pretty sure the three types of edibles I've planted can handle it. The Chinese cabbage looked like this yesterday:

And as you can see above, well, you can't really see much. The fact that at least one leaf is still upright is a good sign though.

As pretty as the edibles garden looked after clearing it and building the new beds, there's not much to look at right now:

Well, at least the new raised beds are full now.

The plants all seem to be okay, as small as they are. I guess the grower hardened them off pretty well:

The low temperature was right around freezing, 33ºF/1ºC or so, maybe it actually got down to freezing. These guys can handle it though. (Broccoli and cauliflower as well as the Chinese cabbage.)

This unexpected weather is one reason I put out only a dozen plants with the rest being grown from seed to be planted out later. I don't want to risk starting my whole crop too early, just to have a freak late-season freeze take everything out.

If you garden somewhere more mild, where the danger of freezes is past, you may still need to play it safe and stagger your plantings a little. Besides giving you a longer harvest period, it also ensures that any other weather-related surprises (heavy rains for instance) doesn't leave your garden bare.

Although losing a couple of weeks of growth to a late freeze or flooding rain is better than losing a mature just-before-harvest crop to a hungry woodchuck I guess. I'm hoping I experience neither this year.


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (March 15, 2011 at 9:33 AM)  

I don't think I've ever seen veggie seedlings in the snow! Just a reminder that officially it isn't spring yet :-)

:: Bamboo and More ::

anne  – (March 15, 2011 at 11:39 AM)  

I kept thinking you have much warmer weather than I do to plant some veggies already - but you were really just living life on the edge!

Helen Lewis  – (March 15, 2011 at 11:53 AM)  

Wow! It's realy cold in your garden! I can only imagine. :)

Donna  – (March 15, 2011 at 12:32 PM)  

I hate when the snow comes on my spring garden has not bloomed yet because of the snow here and I am a long way away form veggies...I plant under row covers just to be safe and last year we had snow on Mother's Day so it helped protect my veggies..

Alan  – (March 15, 2011 at 6:08 PM)  

I checked the plants today after the snow melted and they're fine. Those cold-loving veggies really *are* hardy.

Now we'll see how they do when it gets into the 70's later this week. =)

Steve Lau  – (March 15, 2011 at 6:23 PM)  

We got down to 22F last night, but no snow. Looks like we will finally have above average temps next week after a winter with over 90% of days below average temps. Its a nice change, but I'm still hoping bamboos to shoot later because we was a major freeze last year in late May of around 25F. I hope that doesn't happen again.

Anonymous –   – (March 15, 2011 at 10:31 PM)  

You should have a stern talk with mother nature, when I plant veggies I expect no more snow....

Andrea  – (March 16, 2011 at 11:52 PM)  

Oh i'm so sorry about your seedlings. Aren't they supposed to be covered with plastic in these areas with snow? Here in the tropics our problem is already approaching, the onset of long dry season. However, in some areas here we have floods, everything seems to be changing drastically and our food supply maybe at stake. What is happening with our world, our earth?

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