Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Frost Cover Failure: Did They Live?

It's Flat and It's Freezing. Are they Frozen?

First there was this. Snow I should have prepared for, but didn't, flattened my frost cover. Then there was a spell of unusually cold weather for here, with the days at or barely above freezing and the nights well below freezing.

Left: Before
Right: After
I abandoned the leafy greens to their fate in the frozen wasteland and hoped the snow would be enough insulation to keep them from dying. I sat inside, sipping hot tea and snuggled with my cats, and waited.

Finally, after more than a week, the daytime weather warmed up a bit. The arches began to spring back up as the snow melted. It was looking like a snow snake's spine and I could see greens, although I couldn't tell if they were frozen dead greens or live greens.

Starting to Thaw, 10 Days Later
To see the thrilling finale of this cliffhanger ...

Standing in ankle-deep snow, scraping slush and ice off the frost cover, trying to keep the weight of the snow and ice from ripping the fabric ... and ...


Thriving leafy greens after a week entombed in an icy grave.
The dark red-green lettuce at upper right is a bit smashed from the weight of the snow, but alive.


I should have waded into the fresh snow and removed it while it was fluffy and dry powder. It would have been easy to shake it off the cloth.  Because I waited, it was a melting, soggy mess with chunks of ice stuck to the frost cloth.

Supports?  Because I have them, I put a tomato cage under each arch in case we get another snowfall. It's a happy coincidence that the cages are just tall enough to fit under the arches. I could pretend I planned it that way but it was just luck.  Next year the supports will be installed at the same time as the frost cover.

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