It’s been well over a week since the Big Freeze (when the temperature dropped to around 12 degrees F), but I only just today worked up the nerve to look under the covers in my garden, to check on the broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. The results of my efforts to protect my crops were mixed.
In the good news category, the unharvested broccoli under the heaviest cover looks amazingly good. I am hoping that growth will continue and I’ll be able to harvest heads that are larger than 2 inches diameter (the size they are now). The cabbages under the thinner cover also look good, but under both weights of covers all the cauliflower — the least hardy of the group — have died. The few remaining broccoli under the thinner cover didn’t completely die, but the flowering heads that I had been hoping to eat were damaged beyond saving.
For the plants left uncovered by anything but hope, outcomes also were mixed. Some outer leaves of the collards and red kale were bleached by the cold, but those bleached leaves are not wilted, and the newer, inner leaves look fine. The curly kale and the carrots appear to be completely undamaged. The spinach looks fine, the parsley and cilantro have some limp-looking leaves among the healthier ones, but all the leaves on all the radishes and beets have turned mushy.
I pulled up the dead plants, but beyond that I haven’t done any real work in the garden today, because we have taken this three-day weekend to rearrange the garage. All of my physical work has been given over to shifting shelves, boxes, tools, the rabbits and their enclosures, bins of toys and household stuff, and more, to make a working space for Joe to build a boat.
We have been in this house for a long time, and the garage had been full of the accumulated stuff of life in the suburbs while raising two boys, so thinning out and rearranging has been a big job. Finishing the job will take more than one long weekend, really, but while Joe is working out which of his final two choices of boat to build, we are busy making room for the project.
Otherwise, my big task for the weekend has been to order some seed potatoes. Last year I was unable to find any Irish Cobbler potatoes for planting, so this year I made sure to order them early.