Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 20, 2008

Wow, I had just about written off the day and most of my seedlings.  But with both the sick kids down for naps (abnormal for the eldest), I decided to go out and take a peek under the covers. 

The first thing I noticed when I lifted the plastic curtain off the front of my bed #1 was that my old spinach plants have done quite well, despite the cold and snow.  For comparison, here's what those same seedlings looked like right after I realized I'd planted onions next to them and moved the onions. I should really move them to space them correctly and give them more room to grow.  But can you believe that was only 15 days ago?!?

Now for the seeds I planted 15 days ago when I transplanted the onions away. I filled in the final three spinach for the row and direct sowed one and a half more SF.  I do not remember there being any sprouts when I covered the bed for the most recent snow.  Now look!

They're small but they sprouted when the entire garden was covered in 4 inches of snow!

Farther into the bed, I wanted to show how my lettuce and cauliflower were growing in their confinement and cold.  Remember that the temps ranged from 32 to 40 for three straight days.  I must say that when I was surveying my domain, I noticed the tell-tale condensation under the hoop cover (that's a good sign).


The foreground is the lettuce, and though I didnt' take pictures, even the new direct sown seeds have sprouted.  Behind it is my prize cauliflower, the other survivor of my failed indoor seed starting.  I didn't want to climb all the way into the bed, or take the clamps off, so you can just barely see the green of my carrot seedlings.  They're doing quite well. Though how would I know?  I'm new at this. 

Lastly, I pried up one side of the corn bed coldframe. Boy is it heavy. And it's tough to take a picture with one hand, but look at the growth of the corn seedlings!

Of course I took a picture of the best looking ones, but these guys have definitely grown, and starting to get leaves or whatever corn get.  Ahem, if you recall, I didn't put the coldframe over the bed until AFTER 4 inches of snow covered the bed.  It may kill the seeds that didn't sprout, but the seedlings are doing well.

I'll probably try the damp coffee filter technique that Toasty (and others) use.  That way I can wait until the corn seeds sprout, and drop them right in the ground. That way I know they've germinated and don't have to worry about transplanting corn. I hear they don't like that.

So early indications are that the seedlings under the covers thrived through all that snow and freezing temps. And the ones I couldn't or didn't cover survived.  I dodged a bullet with this one.  And after I've seen what the hoop cover can do in freezing temps, I may just leave it up until the weather really turns, giving my plants a jump start. Something to think about. I'd want to get materials to do all my beds with hoop covers.  Probably cost me another $40 or so due to all the 4 mil plastic.  The PVC and clamps would be pretty cheap.

1 comment:

  1. See, I told you they'd grow! I wouldn't worry about killing seeds that haven't sprouted yet; there's a reason seeds are dormant until the conditions are right. I'm sure last week's 80 F temperatures helped retain ground heat for this weekend's warm snow.

    I took pictures today -- so you can see "how my garden grows" soon!