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

A walk through the garden post-deep-freeze

Kale under quick hoops

Nipped kaleIt takes a while for the effects of a hard freeze to become evident, but it's been long enough since it hit -3 F that I can tell what is and isn't going to make it.  Under the quick hoops, the kale was barely influenced, but kale outside the quick hoops saw a bit of damage.  The latter will probably recover, as long as we don't get another really cold spell, but uncovered mustard greens won't --- they froze to death.  (I think of mustard as a fall and early winter green, though, so I wasn't counting on those plants to get us through the winter.  In fact, I was a bit surprised they lasted so long.)

Nipped parsleyParsley usually provides tasty morsels in our winter soups and tuna salads, collected fresh all year from its uncovered garden bed.  Unfortunately, the arctic outbreak slowed that gravy train down, since all of the outer parsley leaves died back.  I'm not positive, but am hopeful we'll get a bit more growth out of the 2013 plants before the new parsley bed I plant at the end of March picks up steam.

The cold nipped back nearly all of the chickweed growing in bare spots in the garden.  While this sounds like a good thing --- fewer weeds to pull in the spring --- our other main winter weed (purple dead nettle) is still thriving.  Chickens like chickweed, but not dead nettle, so they consider this a net loss for our homestead.

Of course, I won't know the full extent of the damage until spring, when I find out if any of our perennials perished.  I'm hopeful they're all sound asleep, though, and that the cold spell was just a distant dream.

How did your garden fare?

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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.

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My 2-3 Swiss chard plants survived! I know our freeze wasn't as bad as yours, tho. I had heaped leaves over them, then had covered with the plastic 5-gal buckets. I just checked, pushed the leaves away, to find the vibrant green plants, tho with only the few short leaves that I had left unpicked. Have to check my rosemary!
Comment by adrianne Sat Jan 18 09:05:00 2014

I'm worried about my fig tree that I planted this fall. The nursery person told me to plant it in a sheltered spot near a south-facing wall, which I did, but I didn't think about covering it until I saw your post. We're in western NC, so a little warmer than you (sort of on the border of zones 6 - 7) but still...I hope I haven't lost it.

No vegetables growing around here. Morning sickness knocked out any fall garden efforts!

Comment by Karyn Sat Jan 18 10:00:40 2014

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