Friday, December 4, 2009

Ready for Some Cold Weather

One of my brothers has reported today that it is snowing in Houston, Tx; my sister in Louisiana will be snowed upon soon, if it isn't snowing there already, and here, NW of Atlanta, we will be getting snow and sleet tonight (90% chance according to the National Weather Service). These are exciting times for Southerners. I hope no one plans to actually drive anywhere, because there will be mayhem on the roads.

Saturday night the temperature is expected to drop to as low as 24 degrees F, which could cause trouble in the garden. Even though it has been cool here, with nights in the thirties and forties, cool isn't the same as COLD and 24 is going to be a shock for the more tender Fall/Winter crops.

The bed with my spinach in it, the spinach that I had to replant fairly late because it all drowned in The Big Rain, is already covered. Chicory, cilantro, and a few lettuces are under cover in the same bed. This particular covering has a frame that Joe constructed for me early this year, and it is covered with thin plastic sheeting.

In addition, I have rigged a cover for my broccoli, even though, in theory, it should be fine, because it is FINALLY making tiny heads, and I don't want to lose any of it.

However, this covering is not as attractive as the other. It has a tall stick in the center to hold the plastic up off the plants, and the plastic is held down with rocks where it comes down on the outside of some of that wire, folding fencing.

I use that fold-able wire fencing a lot, either to keep the dogs from running through the vegetables or to hold netting up over some vegetables, to protect them from insects. The result isn't usually beautiful, but it works, and it is easy for me to move it around and to wrap differently sized and shaped patches of plants.

My sister in Louisiana is also expecting some cold weather, and she is planning to cover her entire garden, since it is small enough to all fit under one big tarp. Her problem is that she still has some tall summer vegetables, notably the tomatoes. We talked awhile yesterday about her options, and she is going to try to lay a couple of those tomato plants over onto the ground, then cover them. If they survive, she can then stand them backup. Where she lives, it doesn't generally stay cold enough this early in the winter that the tomatoes can't still ripen/grow some more fruits if she can just get them past this one cold snap.

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