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12 Degrees

December 12, 2010

Forecast low tomorrow night: 12 degrees

The “pods” have done a great job protecting the remaining plants as temperatures dropped into the low 20s last week.

Granted, most of what remains is fairly hardy, but who knows what would be left otherwise…..

The next 72 hours are going to be chilly by almost anyone’s standards- lows two nights in the low teens and nights two days not expected to get above freezing.

I took advantage of a mild Saturday and uncovered the beds to inspect/harvest before the big freeze.

Most of the lettuce & arugula still looked pretty good:

Broccoli was plump:

The brussel sprouts were finally showing some buds

The very late cauliflower was even forming pretty decent heads:

One head of broccoli was a little too far along (but edible just the same; no yellow flowers yet):

I went ahead and harvested the majority of the remaining broccoli heads then blanched and froze 20 servings (and held out 2 heads for dinner):

OK, so now the big freeze test is looming.

Today in preparation I bundled up and tucked the beds in as snugly as I could and added more bricks, rocks, boards, and any other available items of any weight to keep the coming north wind out from under the coverings. I left the “heat” lights on underneath all day and they will stay on through at least Wednesday afternoon.

I also dug out another old blue tarp and have now more effectively “double covered” the big lettuce bed. I noticed that the old drop cloth I had draped over it last week made a big difference overnight vs just the single layer of plastic (the condensation on the inside of the double layered bed wasn’t frozen after a 24 degree night.)

I’m concerned that the freeze will be too much for my lettuce and arugula. The broccoli and cabbage are probably going to be ok and the cauliflower and brussel sprouts might pull through but I’m not that confident. Therefore I took most of these pictures to serve as the “before”shots; I’ll take the “after” shots this Saturday and post the results good or bad.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Clay permalink
    December 13, 2010 9:26 am

    The broccoli looks great. Since we will be in Rome for Christmas, I hope you’ll pull some of it out of the freezer and share it with your inlaws from the big city.

    • December 13, 2010 11:09 am

      Your sister guards her garden broccoli pretty closely. You bring me a signed waiver from her and I’ll work it in…
      😉

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