2012年5月11日金曜日

Jack Frost

We had a frost warning.

Frost warnings annoy me.

Frost warnings in mid-May really annoy me.

Frost warnings have a kind of escalation of stages.

A warning on the local news on TV is stage 1. I usually ignore those.

A warning during the scheduled village announcements on the inhouse PA I tend to think 'Hmmm, maybe should do something about that.'

A special broadcast on the outside PA complete with echoes throughout the village?
Even I get panicked then and start taking preventative measures.

And that's what we had and so this is what I did:



The big lumps are where apple crates were placed over taler seedlings (eggplant front left, shishito peppers front right and corn far left). The rest of the sheeting is over smaller seedlings- two rows of barely there corn at the back. We are lucky that it's been so cold that not much has come up. Not lucky it's cold of course but lucky in that frost preparations were kept to a minimum as there was nothing to protect yet!

The bean seedlings in the mulch are frost-hardy as are the spinach, oakleaf lettuce and salad chrysanthymum greens in the front so they were unprotected. You can see the neighbour's field at the back there with their double covered tomatoes and regulation tunnel-covered pumpkins.
Those tunnel covers are a real pain in the butt to set up. Very fiddly. I don't do fiddly so my tomatoes were protected like this:

Cardboard boxes with kindling weights. The eyesore of the neighbourhood I'm sure but hey, it works!

Following the non-regulation theme we covered the raddish, carrot, baby turnip, beet and parsnip seedlings with big blue sheets weighted down with pieces of firewood and a random hoe.

As you do right? The tiller is the big lump at the back.

The main thing I hate about frost preparation is not just that it is a pain setting all the covers up but that you have to get up bright and early the next day to remove them all before you cook your seedlings as the sun heats up the plastic. And even after all that, half the time there isn't even a frost anyway. Grrrrr!

But, up bright and early this morning I removed all the coverings and packed them away neatly and returned all the firewood to the woodpile and was grumbling about bloody time-wasting frost preparations when I looked down and saw this:


A patch of self-sown tomato seedlings. With frost damage! And although it means I won't be transplanting them for free tomato seedlings I was really happy. It put a spring in my step and made me feel the frost preparation drudgery had been all worth it after all. Yeah for frost damage!

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