Monday, January 31, 2011

Goodbye January

     Finally!  The calendar says it is the last day of January.  Finally, not a day too soon.  I visited the park today to check on the cold frames, really to check on my greens.  Parked the truck back by the maintenance sheds as the parking lot by the barn was not plowed.  Not a complaint, just an observation.  Someone had driven through the lot and compacted the snow there into a couple of walkable ruts.  The ten inch snow of last Wednesday has compacted down to about six inches, but has not melted even on paved areas.  Staying in the path traveled by some courageous four wheeler, I was able to get to the edge of the community garden and gaze out at my plot, number 84, close to the middle.  Some animal tracks had pierced the virgin snow, but none approached my plot.  I could see that the tallest cold frame still held snow, unlike last year when the two foot snows trashed many of my single paned cold frames.  Making them look like white donuts, with the snow stacked on the edges, but imploded with a donut hole in the middle where the glass collapsed onto the veggies.  So far, that does not appear to be this year's fate.  But why trudge out to the middle to disturb the frames?  The snow cover is insulating the plants from at least the wind.  Tonight is forecast to be another wintry event, with maybe one to three inches of some combination of snow, slush and rain.
     So tomorrow will be February.  Hooray.  Not usually looked upon as any great gardening month here in Delaware, but one month closer to spring.  By the middle of the month the days will be just a little bit longer.  You will be able to feel the increasing strength of the sun on your skin.  The surviving plants, hopefully there will be some, will have enough light to start growing.  Supposedly, even if one heated the cold frames, there would not be much growth from mid November to mid February due to short day length.  With that in mind, I have been starting seeds, to have the next set of plants to try to push the limits.  Ah, maybe we are about to turn the corner.  Goodbye January, I will not miss you.   Prepare to garden on  -  George

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