Monday, December 6, 2010

A Hard Freeze on its Way

Over the weekend I saw a weather forecast for my area that included temperatures as low as 19 degrees F. That cold weather should begin tonight, with a predicted low around 23 degrees and colder nights to follow, so I spent some time on Sunday getting the garden ready.

You would think that by now there wouldn't be anything left to do, but there was plenty. The bok choy and broccoli are likely to get "freezer burn" in the low twenties (let alone the high teens), so I harvested all of the best parts of all of those plants. That means I brought in the last two bok choy and the last four heads of broccoli.

When I cut the broccoli, I noticed new ragged edges on the leaves; they were the ragged edges caused by caterpillars, and I was a little surprised to see an actual green and growing cabbage worm on a broccoli leaf. I had thought that the weather had been cold enough to stop those little guys, but I was mistaken.

I also harvested the rest of the winter radishes, the last turnip, and a big bunch of cilantro. These were all out in an unprotected bed, and I didn't want to leave them out to turn mushy. The turnip would have been fine in the cold, but it would have been out there all alone if I left it, and leaving it just seemed wrong somehow.

Also, I brought in a lot of lettuce. This would probably be fine under the plastic tent where it had been growing, but I won't want to pull the plastic back for harvesting while the weather is so cold, and I will want salad before it gets warm. I picked plenty, so we can have lettuce every night for a week or more.

In fact, the lettuce-eating started tonight, with tacos. The beans were prepared using peppers from the garden (chopped and frozen) and a tomato from the ping pong table; lettuce and cilantro from the garden were piled on top.

Also on Sunday I added another sheet of plastic over the top of the little tent that houses the lettuces and some vegetable babies. I thought about doing something with the carrots but decided to just wait to see how they fare.

Here is a picture of winter radishes, Moksha, and me:

3 comments:

  1. Those winter radishes look amazing! I hope you also ate the greens! I love radish greens more than I like the radish itself. I recently harvested some radishes as well.
    http://nycgardening.blogspot.com/2010/12/fall-radishes.html
    How frustrating that caterpillars are still present even in this cold!

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  2. We got hit with it early, none of my plants are ready for harvest, ugh!

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  3. meemsnyc,

    The winter radishes are good, but I hadn't thought about eating the greens. Moksha likes them, though. When I was bringing them (these were the biggest ones, but there were eight more) all into the house, Moksha was following me around trying to nip at the leaves. She got some of them. Silly dog.

    Erin,
    Bummer about having the freeze and the harvest in the wrong order. That happens a lot of years with me, too. The very cold weather is a little early this year, so it is almost a miracle that I got as much broccoli as I did. (But this is Chanukah, after all--a time of miracles--so I shouldn't be surprised!)

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