Tough as nails - as long as its cold...

Dan StaleyOctober 19, 2009

So I was gone for several weeks in Sept and Oct, and the MIL calls early in the trip and says its snowing at the house. Everyone tried to do a good job getting stuff in, and I come home to the row covers flapping in the breeze, exposing some of the greens to 23º air and teens the night before.

Well, they were all fine - mustards, lettuces, arugula, spinach. Tough as nails, except for the maché, but who weeps over dead maché?

Needless to say, I've been talking up the greens and how tough they are and you have to plant this stuff, blablabla. Some eyes may have glazed over.

But, tough only in the cold: these last two days of highs in the 80s have meant the poor things wilt in the afternoon, despite the row cover 'shading' them and my anticipatory watering. Sigh...if it's not one thing, its another this year.

[/pouty lip]


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Highs in the 80's!!

I'm celebrating high 50's and no frost in the week's forecast!

Maché? I kind of like the stuff - sort of a not-the-lettuce green. There is a very tight window for sowing here it seems - in early spring. I've failed more often than succeeded.

We had quite a lot of bok choy (sown the 2nd week of September) to bring in just before the severe frosts. I knew that I was really pushing things by planting so late and the plants were tiny, and tender! There are few more out there and they really look like they will be harvestable.

The Fun Jen I planted the same time took the cold a little "hard" (19° one morning with no coverings). There's a little damage but, honestly, it looks like I should be able to get some of these small, very pretty greens. at Kitazawa Seed but Pinetree & Fedco have the seed, too.

Leaf lettuce sown about the 7th of September - 50 plants wouldn't make a single serving . . .


    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 10:36PM
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Dan Staley

I was backpacking in the Pasayten last week, Steve, and last two mornings were in the teens, so I hear ya, not enough snow to obscure the trail, but enuf to show wolf and mink tracks along with the usual suspects.

Back home now, the new improved! coldframe will go in as soon as I can figure when the temps won't get too high so I can have greens all winter, we're thinning the greens 2-3x/week and I'm looking at the temps after the lows here and thinking how cruel weather can be (sez the old weatherman). Afraid to try the kales & bok choy due to the weather and sticking to old favorites so family can eat leafs.

Plenty of leaves around here and I can ship you some green stuff if you need it...


    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 11:35PM
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That is really sweet that they all pulled together to bring stuff in and protect it as much as they could! My lettuces seemed to not care that they had been getting covered in snow on and off for about a month now. I just brush it off and pluck. Of course, none of them tried to bolt even once. My beets (I only tried four seeds) all just suffered, too hot, too cold, too dry--darn winds! Next time I'll give them more wind protection and deeper waterings.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 3:08PM
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We made it thru the week without a frost then there was a hard freeze again yesterday - took nearly all day to melt. After that, it began to rain . . . and rain.

Went out this afternoon and got a nice big head of mustard greens. Did I mention mustard greens? They're always around, somewhere - even if they have to reseed themselves.

I got mustard greens with chicken and a fresh-sliced, ripe tomato for dinner. See, it wasn't a fresh tomato. It was a "fresh-sliced" tomato but that's about the best I can do these days.

Tomorrow, I'll check on the Fun Jen. Can't help but think that it has enjoyed the rain.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 10:14PM
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