grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spring, The Scariest Time of Year for Midwest Gardeners

By this time, gardeners have likely planted cool season crops outside and some may have even been brave enough to transplant warm weather seedlings into the garden.  Now we worry ourselves crazy watching the weather, hoping the temperature doesn't drop too much.

In the summer the garden is in full production and the only thing to worry about is bugs and remembering to water.  We can do that!

In the fall, there's a risk of frost, too, but we don't care that much because we've been harvesting all summer.  Maybe we're even secretly hoping for frost so we have a good reason to put the garden to bed.

In the winter we're scouring seed books and making sketches of where stuff will be planted come spring.  And maybe we start some seeds indoors, safe and secure under grow lights.

Then comes spring.  We're excited to get outside and plant.  Then we sit back knowing we'll probably need to resort to desperate measures at least once before the temperature stabilizes.  Like tonight.  All over the midwest gardeners are bring seedlings back in the house and rushing to cover what can't be brought in.  I threw and old paint drop cloth over my strawberry plants tonight.  The rest are on their own.

This gardener took all her bed sheets outside to protect her vulnerable seedlings from the dropping temperatures.  What is the craziest thing you've done to protect a plant from the cold?


  1. Last night, I pulled every container I could carry into the garage and covered everything else I could with clay pots. Then, this morning, I got out early to water anything that got frosted but our frost advisory didn't pan out. Whew! Not really crazy but typical!

  2. Yep, I was there with the sheets too this weekend!

  3. I did lots of black plastic bags with landscape stakes. It looked liked Halloween around my house for my daughter's birthday and Mothers Day. Everything seems to have survived.


  4. I guess Louisiana doesn't have the cool air now. We are just worried about a dry summer at the moment. Last summer, it was way too dry to grow much of anything. Merely soaking the ground in the morning with water from the hose wasn't enough.

  5. just this past weekend we heard frost and so I suggested to my husband that he cover his babies, (what he calls his veggies) Since he created and built the veggie box and did the planting. :) The only thing we had that I could think of using was that plastic window covering you use in the winter. We had enough left over to cover the box and it seem to do the job.

  6. I'm glad I waited to put tender stuff outside. We were lucky in the south 'burbs though - no frost here. Once our trees leaf out we have a nice microclimate and rarely get frost even if the neighbors in less tree-filled yards do. It's fun going out there early in the morning and seeing frost on the neighbor's lawns but not on ours.