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

Frost effects on broccoli

I transplanted two beds of broccoli last Thursday then three more a day later.  As expected, it frosted both Friday and Saturday night --- I can't tell you how cold it got since our exterior thermometer is still inside the collapsed refrigerator root cellar, but I'd say it got into the high 20s.  All of my broccoli seedlings got nipped, but the ones transplanted on Thursday were only midly damaged while those transplanted on Friday ended up on death's door.  See for yourself --- here is a typical Thursday seedling:

Lightly frost-nipped broccoli seedling


And here's a typical Friday seedling:

Heavily frost-nipped broccoli seedling

I suspect that the Friday seedlings were still dealing with the worst of their transplant shock when the frost hit, while the Thursday seedlings were in prime condition.  If I had it to do over again, I would have transplanted earlier in the week to give the seedlings more time to get situated.  I wonder if the seedlings wouldn't have been damaged at all if they'd had a few more days to get their roots under them?

Good thing I've got spares!  I replaced all of the badly nipped seedlings and put out a couple more beds' worth Monday evening.  No frost is forecast for the next week, so they should do fine.

Want to give your chickens a treat?  Check out our homemade chicken waterer.


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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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