Frosty nights are here, followed by gloriously brilliant mornings. Here’s the frost melting off my new bell cloche, which is in turn covering a fine-looking Marshall lettuce.
By the way, I found this cloche at the Pacific Antique Galleries in Sodo last weekend, and noticed at least three more of different types. This one grabbed me because of the unusual shape.
Here’s a two-layered protection against frost damage: floating row cover laid in two layers right over the young Little Gem lettuce starts, and the whole thing covered by my Triangle Tunnel.
I hope you’re protecting your plants during these chilly nights.
Under a warming sun as the fog cleared this afternoon, I picked a salad for our Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s what we had.
Here’s the only thing not picked fresh today:
I’m a day late with this post — did your garden get frosted over last night? Here on Phinney Ridge in Seattle, I experienced a light frost: slight pockets of it on the grass, and my cold frame (and all the neighbors’ roofs) were covered this morning in white.
It glittered brightly but quickly burned off in the morning sun.
How are your plants? A bit of precaution is needed to keep tender vegetables alive.
By the time I got out to look at it this morning, the sun had already turned the frost to water droplets on the corrugated polycarbonate on this cold frame.
If you don’t have your plants under a cold frame or a cloche, you can still protect them during this cold weather with floating row cover (FRC).
Called garden fleece in England and known here as crop cover or by brand names like Reemay or Frost Protek, it can be laid loosely over plants, even just draped there overnight. For very tender plants, fold it into two layers. Be sure to hold down the edges to keep it from blowing away, or cover the edges with soil as I did for this row crop:
Air, water and light can get through the FRC, but it provides enough of a barrier on many crops to keep frost from laying directly on the plants and killing them. Even though it’s called fleece, it doesn’t keep the plants much warmer, so it wouldn’t be enough of a cover to keep lettuce alive if the nighttime temperatures are dropping below 32 degrees F, as they are in many places around Puget Sound right now.
If you don’t have any FRC on hand and you still want to shield your veggies from frost, just carefully cover them with an old sheet or blanket overnight, but be sure to remove that each morning.
Want to know more about our weather patterns, and why we are having this spate of cold, clear weather right now? Check out the excellent explanation of the “modified continental polar” air we’re experiencing now from UW Professor Cliff Mass’ blog.
Please join me this Thursday, Nov. 21, 7-9 p.m. at Molbak’s in Woodinville for Gather, Give & Grow, a special after-hours shopping event. This excellent nursery is hosting the holiday event as a fundraiser for many garden-related organizations. There will be coffee and Danish kringle, raffle prizes, and much to browse as you stroll among the twinkling lights of the decorated store.
A portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to the involved groups, which include Seattle Tilth, 21 Acres, Plant Amnesty, the Northwest Perennial Alliance, the Master Gardener program, the Arboretum Foundation and three garden clubs.
The $10 ticket cost, along with 5% of your purchases, goes to the participating organization of your choice. This would be a great time to grab some holiday gifts for the gardener on your list.
Perhaps that list includes books! I know mine does. A number of garden authors will be there signing our books from 7 to 8 p.m., and a personalized copy makes an even more thoughtful gift.
I’ll be there, along with Ciscoe Morris, Marty Wingate, Janit Calvo, Karen Chapman, Colin McCrate, and Lisa Taylor.
Hope to see you.