May 7, 2012

I Planted too Early. . .Now to Protect Plants from the Cold

I grew up gardening in Michigan, where spring weather changes constantly.  The saying in Michigan, as it is in many states, is that if you don't like the weather you should just wait five minutes.  In the depths of a hard Michigan winter, that saying sounds like a cruel joke as weeks go by without sunlight  during short days and cold temps.  But, in spring, it rings true again, and the temperatures fluctuate wildly--rising into the seventies one day, and bumping up only slightly into the forties the next.  Night temperatures meander around like drunkards, floating around the upper 40's one night and in the low 20's another.

So, I was used to treating the first week of nights above freezing as a tease, and waiting patiently until the end of May to plant tender vegetables outdoors.  But then I moved to paradise--where the daytime temperatures were consistently 72-88 degrees, and night temperatures were 65-75 degrees.  I gardened there for years before moving to the south where the last freeze date was in early spring and temperatures at night were consistent.

In Connecticut, it's not like that.  Temperatures jump all over the place.  But, I forgot.  I waited until the end of April, and couldn't wait anymore.  On May 7, I planted the tender vegetables and herbs outside thinking I'd past the frost date, and I was right. . .but not right enough.  Even though the temperatures didn't drop to freezing or below, the fell into the 40's and upper 30's.  And the next morning, the smaller plants looked wilted and weak.  I've moved most of them inside, but there are some I planted outside in the ground, and now I'm faced with figuring out how to protect the outside plants at night in a way that doesn't make our front yard look like a trash heap.

So, I did some research on ways to protect plants and the different types of freezing/effects.  I'll post a how to about it later.  But, it was definitely interesting.

No comments:

Post a Comment