The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Dandelion Winter

Early spring blooms

Winter came back with a vengeance this past weekend. First, we had a light snow on Saturday morning, then Sunday morning dropped down to 16 degrees Fahrenheit. Luckily, the cold was short-lived and I doubt the fruit trees saw any new damage.

Frozen cold frame

I went ahead and moved all of the plants out of the cold frame just to be on the safe side, and that was probably a wise move even though the interior temperatures only barely dropped below freezing. Unfortunately, when I put the plants back out on a sunny but frigid Sunday morning, I didn't take into account the power of the sun. By 2 pm, most of the broccoli plants had baked with the lid closed even though outdoor temperatures were still in the low to mid 40s. I guess I'll be starting some more broccoli seeds and paying more attention to the cold-frame cover next time. Even if the air feels cold, if the sun is out, the lid should be open!

Baby cabbage plants

On the plus side, I thought I'd messed up the cabbage seedlings, but they seem to have weathered Dandelion Winter just fine. A week ago, the long-range forecast only showed one low of 31 on the horizon, so I went ahead and set out the cabbage into the garden...then instantly regretted it when the weather report shifted dramatically. I covered the plants with row-cover fabric, crossed my fingers, and was thrilled to see that they seem to have come through the cold unscathed! So I guess we'll have early cabbage this year, and late broccoli.



Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.


Cold frames are great but one small easy to make mistake and all is cooked! Wish there was something better than a thermal vent more like a solar powered lift?
Comment by Jim Mon Mar 30 08:12:58 2015
Twenty seven degrees Saturday night turned my blueberry blossoms to mush. They were in full bloom so no berries this year.
Comment by Errol Mon Mar 30 08:56:24 2015
sounds like a tittle for your next book.
Comment by Laura Mon Mar 30 11:39:21 2015
Go to Harbor Freight Tools and get yourself a cold frame automatic vent. It's cheaper than some of the catalogues and works just as well. I have two and they work great! Plants did not have any problems in the cold frame except for the lettuce which I think accidentally got crushed when one of the small pots seemed to have fallen on it. Don't ask... too complicated to explain.
Comment by Na Yan Mon Mar 30 15:18:51 2015
Oh i sympathize about the broccoli plants. I have burned up more things in a cold frame from forgetting to open it...
Comment by deb Mon Mar 30 22:41:05 2015





profile counter myspace



Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.