Woke up to this this morning:
I suspect I’ll be replacing all the tomato, bell pepper and eggplant seedlings that I planted last week in a fit of optimism. Yesterday afternoon I covered them with upside-down clay pots and spanish tiles and stuff, thinking we might get a frost, but today’s forecast says more snow and I don’t think my little clay pots are going to be enough to save them.
On the other hand, I have very good things to say about the hardiness of honeyberry, serviceberry, goji berry and sea-buckthorn bushes. We lost our apricot crop weeks ago to a hard freeze, but these tough little berry plants from places like Russia and Tibet don’t even seem to notice that they’re covered with snow and ice, even though they leafed out a month ago and are well out of the dormant stage. I think the real trick to growing your own food in any given area is to let go of sentimental attachments to varieties that just aren’t right for your climate and seek out plants that aren’t bothered by whatever your area throws at them. There are plenty of options to choose from, and most of them I’d never even heard of until I got serious about growing my own food and started doing the research. This summer I plan to create a new garden bed filled with slightly acidic soil, to accommodate edible perennials that can’t thrive in our sandy, alkaline soil. It’ll be mulched with pine needles and peat moss instead of straw and manure. Whatever the challenges are in your area, there are probably solutions if you’re adaptable and creative.
I just wish I didn’t love tomatoes and bell peppers so much. My life would be a lot simpler without those delicious, demanding little divas in it. I guess at some point today I’ll have to go peek under my clay pots and check for survivors; maybe the carnage won’t be total.
Can we be done with winter now?