Monday, November 28, 2011

Colder is Coming

      This season has spoiled gardeners in Delaware, where we are still able to harvest copious amounts of kale, collards, cabbage and even some of the less cold hardy salad greens.  But a look at the 15 day forecast by Accuweather suggests that we will have a turn to the colder weather in two weeks.  Nights as low as 20 or 23 degrees will spell doom for unprotected lettuce.  While a lot can change in a 15 day forecast, I still find it helpful to look at the overall trend.  Here is a great website, just put in your location or zip code:

The site also keeps historical data, so you can go back and see just how miserable the summer heat was, or brag about how little rain you had in the drought in so many areas.
      So I have been duly warned by the weather gurus.  Any new cold frame activity must be done in a little over ten days.  Ditto any plants to be moved.  Winter will soon settle in.
      The next three pictures are of plants that are not protected currently, and would not like 20 degrees.  So some are looking for new homes for the winter.  And I am getting kind of tired of making cold frames, so feel free to put in a request.

Mizuna, arugula, mustard, and tatsoi - 11/28/11

Various lettuces and mustards, 11/28/11

Various lettuces and chickweed, 11/28/11

      I had not thought about using the chickweed as a living mulch in the cold frames, till now.  Hmm, might work.  The bees would love it on days the frames are open, as the chickweed is just now starting its fall bloom cycle.  This next picture is of plots maintained by Bob King.  Lots of fall veggies.

Collards, turnips, onions, mustard and lettuce

      I will be interested to see what survives in Bob's unprotected plots.  Kale and collards should, turnips maybe, lettuce will be mush.  So be prepared soon to button up your overcoat, at least if you live in this area.

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