We recently had about 17 inches of snow.
And even though we had some fun times sledding and snowshoeing in the snow…it still wrecked a little havoc on our fall garden:
Hoops flattened by weight of snow
I was unable to keep up with sweeping the accumulating snow off the rows. Snow is insulating to plants, so I wasn’t worried about cold damage so much as the fiberglass rods breaking under the weight of the snow, tearing the row covers.
Today, between the rain and some warmer temperatures, the last bit of snow has finally melted. I surveyed the crops.
Some fiberglass rods have snapped with some row cover damage.
Some of the plants (e.g. Brussels sprouts pictured) sustained physical damage from the weight of the snow, and their tops have been broken.
But when it comes down to it, the crops are still looking pretty good and the damage, given the amount of snow and cold temperatures, is minimal.
The fiberglass hoops will be replaced today. I think I will try taping two metal hoops together to make them longer and see how they do. After all, winter technically hasn’t started yet…
We all know it’s cold outside.
The sun is shining, and the breeze has let up today. It feels deceptively warmer.
The first peek under the row covers suggests otherwise.
Leaf lettuces with ice crystals
The plants are cold.
They are frozen.
Rainbow Swiss Chard
The multiple, consecutive days with temperatures below zero are concerning. As this cold weather passes, it will be interesting to see if and which plants are resilient.
Will they bounce back?
We would love to extend our growing season into the winter months. With more infrastructure coming soon, we’ll ramp up for that. But for now, we have a few rows under production and some that are overwintering produce.
Our society is so spoiled by having every want and whim at our beck and call in the grocery store that we have forgotten all about seasonality. There are some vegetables that grow better in the cooler season or taste better after the first nip of frost. These cooler season crops are such delicious treats to enjoy during the winter doldrums.
Though the winter garden is easier in the weeding department – as in really little weeding necessary – it still does demand some time an attention.
Like today. Our first snow. Not crazy but enough to cause some action:
Sweeping snow off row covers
Weather was forecasted to be in the teens…brrrr. Certainly cold enough to freeze plant cells and cause some serious damage. To prepare for the cold, we placed multiple row covers over the beds with the last cover raised higher to create an air space between it and the other row cover.
The downside of the outer cover is that it is held up with our taller, fiberglass poles. Not metal poles. Metal poles are great. They may collapse under the weight of snow, but once the snow is gone they spring right back to shape. Fiberglass? Nope. They collapse under the weight and SNAP!
So, although the snow is pretty, gives some much needed moisture to the soil and even helps to insulate (and protect) plants beneath it, if it keeps snowing today, I’ll have to keep sweeping it off to keep the fiberglass poles from snapping. You can see in the photo that some row covers have already torn under the strain. They will have to be replaced after the snow melts.
Why go to all the trouble? Because these delicious beauties lie underneath and are totally worth it!
Pre-cold snap harvest – stocking up!
This grungy bag houses my clothes pins for the clothes line.
I’ve been seen a wren hanging around this bag really closely the past week or so.
Guess that explains the interest….