The rollercoaster ride continues

– Posted in: Garden chores

Now the NOAA predicts near-zero weather for us in the next few days. I will have to race about covering the radicchios I was admiring yesterday as nearly large enough to start cutting, and the tender nubbins of other things fooled by the early warmth. It has been daily into the 40’s: decoy weather.
I have some bags of leaves from last fall that will get pressed into service as blankets. The winter was so mild so far that the Corydalis never lost the autumn new growth they put on; they will be less tender than the radicchios but they’ll get bagged as well! The violas that are blooming will do just fine without covering, thank you (thank them!).

Then it is back inside to continue my seed sowing and seed-tray watching. I am trying a new seed treatment for recalcitrant salvias that is similar to the GA-3 (gibberellic acid) I have used in the past for other things. It doesn’t need measuring/diluting/pipettes like the GA-3 so is easier to use, but it doesn’t go as far. I will be interested to see how the results compare.

I have had the top of one of the garden fences down for repair and in the intervening time have had a deer dance party in the raised beds. Nothing much eaten except the dry tops of the Maximillian sunflowers–not my precious fruit trees nor my radicchios!–just lots of pointy foot prints. The top of the fence went back up fast yesterday! I added some tagging tape to whistle in the wind as a notice that the dance hall was closed.

About the Author

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4b/5aLocation: rural; just south of British Columbia/Idaho borderGeographic type: foot of Black & Clifty Mountains (foothills of Rockies–the Wet Columbia Mountains in BC climate- speak)Soil type:acid sand (glacial lake bed)/coniferous forestExperience level: intermediate/professionalParticular interests: fragrant & edible plants, hardy bulbs, cottage gardening, alpines, peonies, penstemons & other blue flowers, primulas, antique & species roses & iris; nocturnal flowers Also: owner of Paradise Gardens Rare Plant Nursery

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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