16 March 2017

weather and plants

We had 4" of snow. It was heavy, wet snow and freezing rain in intervals- very icy. I'm glad I covered the plants. In the yard I can walk across the frozen crust on the snow without breaking through. Went out there yesterday when the weather was a bit milder and uncovered a few to check-
and borage look fine! Uncovering pot-sheltered plants for the sun today but it's supposed to be very cold again tonight so I will cover them once more. When the snow melts I'll uncover those that got leaf mulch blankets and see how they did. It's down to 19° at night. I've blocked drafts on windowsills with small towels, and move the seedlings and tender plants away from windows at night to avoid chill.
I lost a few basil seedlings - probably to the cold- there are only five in that tray now. The rest of the seedlings are doing okay.
A few more summer savory sprouted, three pepper plants (finally!) and the tray of borage is completely full (I showed it to my daughter and said: "do you know why I grow this plant? we don't eat it, but I think it disgusts the squirrels!")
Nasturtiums are almost big enough to pot up individually
First true leaves are showing on the marigolds,
and dill
I think I see one just barely growing out on the broccoli as well (second seedling from left, center).
I need to get a thermometer to hang in my coldhouse. I can feel with my hand and face that when I open the door, it is significantly warmer in there than outside air, but not sure by how many degrees. When it's 32° outside, I feel comfortable setting out in the coldhouse the plants that are supposed to be hardy down to 40°- broccoli, onions, lettuces
and borage. (This plant btw I recently learned can withstand near-freezing temperatures- as the one survivor out in the garden patch proves. But it doesn't do well transplanting due to a long taproot. Have to set out seedlings before they get more than four leaves or may fail- last year I timed it just right).

When it's a bit warmer at 35° I feel ok to put out in the coldhouse the tomato, marigold and nasturtium seedlings. At 40° I'll put out the celosia, sweet potato cuttings, and the tray of herbs. Okra, celosia, peppers and basil seem more tender- they wait until it's 55°. But it would be so much easier if I knew the actual temp inside my coldhouse, so I'm going to look for one to hang. With big fat numbers so I can read it from the kitchen window.

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