Posts Tagged ‘frost’

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Brrr it’s cold

December 12, 2013

The cold, frosty week has chilled me to the bone and got me thinking . . .

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. . . how monochromatic the earth remains beyond naked tree limbs

before the rains come and the field grasses grow;

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. . . how glad I don’t live in snow country

yet yearn to photograph the beauty it holds;

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. . . how shrubs and trees store sugar all winter long

for hues shiny and sweet come springtime;

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. . . how loud are icy grass blades when walked upon

or how musical are the drips of melting frost;

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. . . how quiet and secluded squirrels remain,

and unproductive laying hens reside,

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. . . how the effort to stay warm seems like combat;

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. . . and how all living breeds navigate cycles through

slumber and wake.

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Be sure to follow me on facebook.com/inandaroundthegarden

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Seed Starting Guide

February 8, 2012

Recently, I came across a FREE, on-line seed-starting guide at Johnny’s Seeds. This is an awesome tool that I hope you will use. Although it’s not a complete list of vegetable and flower crops, it includes those most grown by home gardeners.

In order to explain a couple of things about the guide, I have posted part of it below:

  • Once you are at the link, enter the last estimated frost date in your area (where it says mm/dd/yyyy) and the dates following each crop will automatically  change accordingly. Is that cool or what!
  • In the cell where it says, “Safe time to set out plants (relative to frost-free date)”, the phrase ‘to set out’ simply means ‘hardening off’. This is a horticulture term for placing indoor seedlings outside during daylight to gradually make them more resistant to their new environmental conditions. If you are a gardener who doesn’t have the time or patience to do this and prefer transplanting seedlings directly into the soil, simply protect your tender plants from the hot afternoon sun with a cover cloth until they adjust to the climate.
Enter spring frost-free date (include year):  
mm/dd/yyyy
Crop Number of weeks to start seeds before setting-out date When To start inside Setting-out date
From To Safe time to set out plants (relative to frost-free date) From To
Artichoke 8 19-Feb on frost-free date 15-Apr
Basil 6 11-Mar 1 week after 22-Apr
Beets* 4 to 6 19-Feb 4-Mar 2 weeks before 1-Apr
Broccoli 4 to 6 19-Feb 4-Mar 2 weeks before 1-Apr
Cabbage 4 to 6 5-Feb 18-Mar 4 weeks before 18-Mar 15-Apr

After you utilize Johnny’s Seeds’ seed-starting guide, check out their online catalog. I know several master gardeners who are pleased with their service and products. Have fun with both!

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The Morning After

February 26, 2011

In spite of the outdoor mess, I do love the morning after a storm. When the sun first emerges and calm whispers across the rolling hills every speck of foliage sparkles. Late winter, droplets cling to barren branches pushing out tiny buds wet by rainwater. On mornings like this, the air smells like the waterfalls of Yosemite, fresh and clean.

My house is positioned east and west, so I have the advantage of watching the sun escalate then later slide below farmlands and vineyards. After a rain, in the dawn sunlight, everything shines. But this morning the pasture grasses, perennials, and lawn blades are touched by frost—so much for raindrops on branches and buds. I didn’t expect to see frost but there it is white and cold, clinging to every available surface. And here I am looking from the inside out of my warm and cozy house. This is why I chose a house plan with lots of windows, so I could enjoy the view without getting cold.

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