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

Results of a late spring frost

Comparison of frost-nipped and protected watermelons six weeks later.

Six weeks ago, we had a late frost and I covered everything I could with row covers.  Unfortunately, I only had enough fabric to go over one of my two watermelon beds.  At first, there didn't seem to be a big difference between the lightly nipped bed and the protected bed, but now the beds couldn't be more different.  The unprotected bed is only about a third covered with vines which are barely starting to bloom.  In stark contrast, the vines on the protected bed have filled up all of their space and are heading out into the aisle...and look at the cute little watermelons!

Next year, I'll have a better idea of which plants are top priorities to protect from late, light frosts.  For example, the unprotected canteloupes are still sitting there doing nothing, while the unprotected cucumbers, butternuts, and beans bounced right back as if they were never touched.  The nipped okra bed was significantly behind its protected counterpart until three weeks ago when the deer browsed the previously covered bed --- now both deer- and frost-nipped beds are neck-and-neck and getting ready to bloom.  Live and learn!

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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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