FAQ

Why You Need to Get Outside During the Next Thaw

by Kathy Purdy February 20, 2014

Have you, like us, had more snow this winter than in the last twenty years?Perhaps, like us, you are getting a thaw? The temperature is well above freezing during the day, with intermittent rain? You need to get out! Take a walk through your garden–wear rubber boots and carry an umbrella if you must–but get […]

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Ten Ways Cold Climate Gardeners Treat Cabin Fever

by Kathy Purdy January 11, 2013

A long winter is not for sissies. If you are a veteran of many northern winters, you probably already practice most of the tips I’m going to share below. But if you are new to the tribe of hardy plants and hardy souls, here are some ways to beat cabin fever.

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Hard Freeze, But No Frost: What Gives?

by Kathy Purdy March 27, 2012

Very early this morning, the temperature bottomed out at 18F, so my max-min thermometer tells me. And yet, when I looked out my window, there was not a speck of frost on the grass. If I hadn’t consulted the thermometer, I would have thought it was a lovely spring day out there. (The grass has […]

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The New USDA Hardiness Map and Cold Climate Gardening

by Kathy Purdy February 3, 2012

The new hardiness map put out by the USDA is not going to help you at all if you’ve been gardening in the same spot for any length of time with your eyes open and your mind engaged. Let’s face it: common sense and experience will trump aggregated data every time. It doesn’t matter what […]

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Frost: The Least You Need to Know

by Kathy Purdy October 6, 2010

Stumbled across a link to an excellent synopsis of frost and its effects via @urbangarden. If you don’t have a copy of A Gardener’s Guide to Frost, this is the next best thing.

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If You Can’t Take the Frost,
Get Out of the Garden

by Kathy Purdy April 20, 2010

Don’t get me wrong–I love snowdrops, winter aconites, crocus and all the very earliest bloomers that signal the end of winter’s dominion. But here in the land of late and unseemly freezes, plants that emerge later have the advantage. Those poor ‘Black Beauty’ lilies in the photo above were seduced by the atypical but not […]

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January Thaw: A Video

by Kathy Purdy January 25, 2010

What happens when the snow melts in the middle of winter? I made a brief video to show you: Some roads and a few low bridges have flooded, forcing early school closings and rerouting traffic. A thaw in January is common, but rain doesn’t always accompany it. Sometimes it is brilliantly sunny, inspiring snowball fights […]

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How Do You Know If A Plant Is Hardy?

by Kathy Purdy January 21, 2010
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I was just reading Graham Rice’s musings on plants that grow in the coldest climates. He observed that the resources he consulted did not agree on which plants were tough enough to take USDA zone 2. If you’ve been gardening for any length of time (which of course Graham has), this won’t surprise you. First, […]

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What’s the Difference Between a Frost and a Freeze?

by Kathy Purdy October 11, 2009
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Last night the National Weather Service issued a frost advisory for our area, and we did indeed get a frost. They are issuing a freeze warning for tonight. What’s the difference?

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What Happens to Plants After an Untimely Freeze Part 2

by Kathy Purdy June 1, 2009
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In Part 1 I mentioned the two hard frosts and a freeze we had recently, all of them rather later in the season than is typical. I illustrated how different species in the same genus reacted to the freeze differently, and also gave examples of plants that were damaged even though they were protected. Appearances […]

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