Friday, October 25, 2013

Last of the greens - by Irene Shonle

I don't know about where you live, but we've gotten down to 15 at my house several times already.  I got most of my greens and vegetables in before the real cold hit, but I didn't get to everything, because I went out of town, and I knew anything I picked would spoil in the refrigerator.
On the frosty morning after I got back, I went out to the garden with a little trepidation to see what remained. I was hoping something survived.
Happily, the combination of floating row covers and hardy greens meant not all was lost.  Floating row covers will protect plants down to 28 degrees, or 24 degrees, if you have a heavier one.  

 The kale mostly survived just fine (except in places where the snow pulled the cover tight against the plant; there was some frost damage there).  Only the smallest leaves of Swiss Chard, protected by the frost-killed larger leaves, survived.  The parsley was perfectly happy -- not even a bit of damage, even where a corner of the row cover blew off!  The baby arugula was fairly sad -- I think it would have done better if I had put hoops under the row cover to keep the snow off.   I'm dreaming of a cold frame for future late and early season lettuce crops.
The last of the greens in from the garden.

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