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GoDawgs April 4, 2021 05:38 PM

Cold Spell Left Some Toasty Plants
Well, there has been cold damage done in the garden. I'll take the blame for not covering everything. I didn't do it because the spring stuff out there has always done ok in 30-33 without covering. Pickles said the burning might have been due to the warm temps (10 days of 70's-80's) that juiced the plants up just before the three days of cold, making them more vulnerable than usual. That very well could be. Last frost usually happens no later than 23-27 March. So let's take a stroll through toasty plants, shall we?

The two Golden Acre cabbage got burned as did three of the Stonehead cabbages. The Stonehead have never had a problem before. A close look shows that the centers are ok so I'm hopeful they'll pull out of it and all I'll have to do is cut off some dying oldest outer leaves. Jersey Wakefield was pretty OK.



I don't know if the cauliflower will make it. It's 'Rober', a new variety for me and one that supposedly makes regardless of spring temperature swings. In the foreground are four of them and they got hit pretty good. That's broccoli on the other side of the bed and it didn't get hit much at all. Their problem is that with those higher temps earlier, they're starting to produce 2" heads that are loosening up to bloom. If it's not one thing, it's another. Off with their heads! Now they can get busy making side shoots.


The peas got hit but I think they'll grow out of it.


And an update on the cabbage flower. It's so strange looking anyway I can't tell how badly it got burned and if it will continue to grow or not. We'll see.


The good news is that the collards, kale, kohlrabi, the few carrots that are left, onions and the garlic are all just fine.

Speaking of carrots, I had to push back carrot sowing because of that cold spell that dropped soil temps too low. With this coming week being mostly in the 80's I'll shoot for the 8th. By then soil temps will be nice again and the moon will be right.

Things burned, lesson learned. You'd think after 25-30 years of gardening I'd get it right. And most times I do but it just goes to show that you can't let your guard down for even one one minute because Mother Nature's just waiting to smack ya!

jmsieglaff April 5, 2021 12:08 PM

Your part of the country and mine are quite different, so as you mention, an extended period of warm followed by a freeze could be the issue. But I routinely have light freezes affect my broccoli, peas, onions, spinach, etc. all cool season stuff and never have any damage from temperatures you mention (28-32F). Is there any possibility it is herbicide drift damage?

KarenO April 5, 2021 12:30 PM

I was wondering the same thing. Brassicas can take below freezing temperatures in stride. This looks like something else other than cold damage to me as well

GoDawgs April 5, 2021 04:08 PM

[QUOTE=jmsieglaff;763078]I routinely have light freezes affect my broccoli, peas, onions, spinach, etc. all cool season stuff and never have any damage from temperatures you mention (38-32F). Is there any possibility it is herbicide drift damage?[/QUOTE]

What I mentioned was 30-33. It was 30 two nights and then 33 the third night. And yes, I too have had cool season stuff laugh at those temps too. But we had that 10 day stretch of very warm (mid 70's-low 80's) and I'm pretty sure now the plants had, what we used to call at the nursery, "gotten juicy". I worked for that production nursery for 18 years and I've seen the same thing happen to shrubs under similar circumstances.

The brassica plantings were staggered. Broccoli went out in sets of three on 2/12, 2/24, and 3/11. Cabbages went out 2/24 and 3/11. Seems that it was that last planting that suffered the most damage.

Zero chance of herbicide drift.

While weed-eating between the beds this afternoon I noticed that the crape myrtles along the fence were covered in crispy brown baby leaves. They're tough and will be back. The wisteria in the surrounding area, so beautiful and in full bloom a few days ago, is now done. That's the way it goes some years.

What I need to do is set the spring brassicas out earlier, like maybe in January under plastic tunnels so that the last planting doesn't go out so late. Or still plant some late and just cover everything at the slightest hint of frost. I should have done that in the first place. Need to get a handle on that staggered planting because I sure don't want 12 heads of broccoli ready at once. Been there, done that! :twisted:

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