Saturday, December 20, 2008


We got our first freeze of the winter the night before last....always know it's going to be a cold one when we go to sleep by the sound of the wind machines in the orange orchards.
I don't protect my garden with plastic row covers, tho I am considering it. I know we could make them pretty inexpensively with PVC pipe and clear plastic sheeting, but so far we have had very little loss to cold weather. Everything looks droopy in the morning but happy and recovered by the sunny afternoon.

I can only remember one year, when the valley lost half it's citrus (97?), that we had anything actually die on us. But I wonder if we protected the plants we would get a bit bigger harvest. I'd like to try it next year with a few beds just to see. With brocolli, I have always worried more about the heat....they go to seed pretty quickly in the spring.

Since it started getting cold a few weeks ago the garden seems to have hardly grown at all, especially the lettuce. They look healthy and are able to breeze right thru the frosty nights, but seem to be in a state of suspended animation....waiting for a bit of prolonged sunshine.

These are my Christmas gifts or I probably wouldn't be worried at all. I guess more people will be getting homemade toffee instead of greens and dressing in their gift bags....darn.

omg...I just had a flashback to those people who gave apples on Halloween!


Steve said...

Growing up in this part of the valley in winter has a few memories that continue and some that don't. Going to sleep to the sound of wind machines is one that our children will still have.

Waking up to sooty skies is one they won't. The soot came from the smudgepots, which as a teenager provided income if you knew someone that had orange groves. The high school looked the other way for late arrivals on frosty nights because some were out watching the smudgepots. These were metal versions of the Mexican chimenea that burned diesel fuel to heat the groves. I've heard stories of pots afire, of rattlesnakes coiled in base when someone tried to fill them, and plenty of other stories made up and real. What I don't miss is the black cloud hovering over Exeter and the soot stains on the wall near the heater vent.

Julie said...

I think the broccoli and lettuce look good! We are finally having some cold weather here. 40's today, 60's tomorrow, rain on Wednesday. Welcome to south MS!