Cold Nights Ahead

CeleBRAtion! Notice that rough pile of wood in teh background. You might recognize it from previous posts and know that is the blossoming Hugelkultur. Still needs a lot of dirt which we have not been able to acquire. We are rural, you would think dirt to be easier to come by. ALSO, said pile of tree trunks and branches has become home to Shi'itake our current resident snake. She is a Yellow Bellied Racer IF it's the same snake. I'm not so sure.

CeleBRAtion! Notice that rough pile of wood in the background. You might recognize it from previous posts and know that is the blossoming Hugelkultur. Still needs a lot of dirt which we have not been able to acquire. We are rural and you would think dirt to be easy to come by. ALSO, said pile of tree trunks and branches has become home to Shi’itake our current resident snake. She is a Yellow Bellied Racer IF it’s the same snake. I’m not so sure. Snake pic coming right up.

Apparently today was the tenth annual World Naked Gardening Day and I had never even heard of it before. Gene got pretty involved in the holiday merriment. It’s the first holiday I have seen him express any interest in since we started carrying on with each other three years ago. Naked to the bone in the garden pulling a few weeds. Etc.

As usual much going on. The big news is that after a full month of unseasonably warm weather, upper 70’s to mid and high 80’s with night-time temps in the 50’s, we are having 5 nights in a row in the 40’s. That’s chilly for tomato plants, peppers, okra, beans and squash.

I hot capped the eggplants and squash with plastic jugs, the okra with mason jars, and built a heat capture fence for the tomatoes and beans. Huh? We are not trying to keep things from freezing just trying to capture more daytime heat and hold it through part of the night.

People scoffed at my early plantings of summer heat loving nightshades and squash but they are doing quite well. Of course it is always a gamble and I think worthwhile in spite of this small setback of cool temps. It only took about thirty minutes to rig up the black plastic wall and cap a few things. So yea.

Heavy black plastic trash bags clothes pinned to the fenceline where the tomatoes are planted. Protection from wind and falling cold. This will also collect heat and warm the soil through the day keeping the whole mess warmer through the night. This would not keep plants from freezing but it will keep them warmer.

Heavy black plastic trash bags clothes pinned to the fenceline where the tomatoes are planted. Protection from wind and falling cold. This will also collect heat and warm the soil through the day keeping the whole mess warmer through the night. This would not keep plants from freezing but it will keep them warmer.

Okra capped with mason jars.

Okra capped with mason jars.

"the snake" from a few feet

“the snake” from a few feet

Now that I look closely at the detail on this snake I don't think it's the same one at all. Wondering just exactly how many snakes lurk around the house...

Now that I look closely at the detail on this snake I don’t think it’s the same one at all. Wondering just exactly how many snakes lurk around the house…

A bean plant unfurling from the earth.

A bean plant unfurling from the earth.

One of the little rows of pole beans - really filling out and about eight inches tall. They will soon send out tendrils to grab on with and start climbing.

One of the little rows of pole beans – really filling out and about eight inches tall. They will soon send out tendrils to grab on with and then start climbing.

I over wintered this jalapeno plant and transplanted it a couple of weeks ago. At the time of transplant it was covered with hundreds of flowers. Most of them fell off when we put it back in teh ground, as I expected. Apparently some of them had already started turning into peppers because there are abpit a dozen visible peppers growing on the plant. What a cool thing - peppers in May!

I over wintered this jalapeno plant and transplanted it a couple weeks ago. At the time of transplant it was covered with hundreds of flowers. Most of them fell off when we put it back in the ground, as I expected. Apparently some of them had already started turning into peppers because there are about a dozen visible peppers growing on the plant. What a cool thing – peppers in May!

Gene's turn for desert making got us a beautiful angel food cake. The best!

Gene’s turn for desert making got us a beautiful angel food cake. The best! From scratch.

Four pounds of green onions (planted last fall and over wintered), lettuce, a handful of snow peas and a few radishes for a salad.

Four pounds of green onions (planted last fall and over wintered), lettuce, a handful of snow peas and a few radishes for a salad. In case you don’t know I am still challenged by radish growing.

We went to Baker Creek Saturday for their annual Spring Planting Festival and had a great time. Stocked up on seeds for fall planting, had a marvelous lunch, bought a few plants, visited with some old friends here and there, heard some marvelous speakers and learned quite a bit of new stuff about gardening (more on this later after I’ve read a book heavy on soil science). I especially enjoyed Jim Long on “Growing & Using Rare & Unusual Herbs”, Ira Wallace of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange on  “Extending the Harvest: Creating a Four Season Garden”, and Gene heard Jeff Lowenfels on “No More Chemicals in the Garden”. We bought Jeff’s book Teaming With Microbes and it is packed with cutting edge soil science for the home gardener as well as commercial growers. Yes the average reader can comprehend this book.

It should be back in the eighty’s by the weekend and the high summer crops will perk back up.

What is happening in your garden world this week?

signature, Sarah

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3 Responses to Cold Nights Ahead

  1. Anonymous says:

    Now that’s Whitman..sure nice skin…your garden stuff is wonderfully. Really nice.

  2. S says:

    Three years ago today it was snowing in much of the Ozarks.
    https://moonmooring.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/ramblings-on-a-wintery-may-day/

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