In the U.S.A. what is known as Memorial Day, is generally considered the official start of the summer season. Throughout the nation, community lakes and pools open as do city pools for city residents. Seaside beaches open for their short season and many parks that may be closed in winter will reopen for camping. Like most other holidays the citizens have forgotten much of what the day represents. July 4th – Independence Day is another. Beer, hot dogs, burgers and potato salad is all that seems to matter. Sad but true.
The weather is improving every day, but there are still chances of a cold snap and tonight is forecast to be one such evening.
I’ve written about using plastic tarps in the garden and tonight I am taking the precaution to protect my delicate sprouting seeds and newly transplanted seedling plants.
In the foreground under black plastic is my corn seed planted last weekend. Corn, 5 or 6 days after being planted in the soil is at that critical stage during germination, when a drop in temperature would likely kill the seed. The black plastic helps to warm the soil on this sunny yet windy and cool day.
The roster of seed crops planted thus far include; radicchio, escarole, spinach, corn, scallions and green beans. The radicchio, escarole and spinach are under “agro-net”, a very lightweight mesh that helps to insulate against light frost and also protects new transplants from harsh mid-day sun.
Starter plants purchased at the local nursery; broccoli, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, butternut squash. These are all covered under the clear plastic. By laying the tarps over the crops in the late afternoon before sunset, the soil will warm slightly and that can carry-over through the night until sunrise. It is just enough to insulate and insure the soils does not freeze and thereby freeze the tender little seed sprouts. I also planted potatoes yesterday, but they are more hardy and planted deeper.
My blueberry bush is full of flowers indicating a good crop of berries in a few months, but I am worried that if they freeze tonight, it could kill them off. The problem with wrapping a high standing bush is that the wind will likely tear off the cover before morning anyway. After this frost, I expect we will be clear sailing into summer and full steam ahead to plant the remainder of my crops for the summer garden.