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A Lesson in How We Can't Control Mother Nature: Late Season Freeze

Well this happens. We can’t control the weather (as much as some people want to think they can). We planted the garden the first few weeks of April. The weather was warming up and there was no foreseeable cold fronts coming. I also am part of a couple online plant groups and others that have lived here a lot longer said it was time to plant so we went with it.

Unfortunately (and honestly I believe because of climate change) we had a sudden drop in temp and it led to two nights in a row of below freezing temps and frosting over even with a little bit of snow fall. Since everything was planted and I already had corn sprouting we covered everything with sheets and blankets to help protect them as much as week could. This seemed to help a bit but was not ideal for all the plants and we had some loss.

This poor basil...

The pots were the lucky ones. They all got moved into the garage and in there kept well above freezing. Tomatoes, some herbs, berries, and a pepper (Carolina Reaper to be exact) are all thriving now that the weather is getting a bit warmer. The corn seemed to handle the cover and cold fine and are still there nice and strong, sprouting out of the ground. Strawberry patch, chamomile, and thyme are safe. Lettuce patch I didn’t even cover since they are supposed to be okay with these last frosts and it’s all surviving fine.

The losses I had come in the form of some squash, a couple peppers, and the basil. Luckily most of it survived well and with the first warmer and sunny day I went out and trimmed everything back. Most of the basil I think will come back but the top leaves were frost bitten and turned black. Some bean starters we got had some frost bite along with the pumpkins and squash. I trimmed all the damaged parts off and the stems and the roots seem to be strong and still going. There is a little bit of new growth trying to come so I’ll let it all be and see what comes back in the next week or so. If anything I’ll put out new seeds or get some new starters and try something new.

Peppers need heat and not cold

This is a great lesson in what it means to have a garden. I want everything to thrive but Mother Nature sometimes has other plants. Although the last frost is supposed to be before April 15th in this region some years it comes later and at the same time who knows how much of this can be a result of climate change. From the random bursts of warmth followed by frost and even some snow, even looking at other parts of the country like the fires back in California that rage on, the tornadoes devastating the south, just all damaging weather storms and patterns that are starting to affect more and more of our country, let alone the rest of the world.

Beans are struggling but look promising!

This to me it’s just a remind to keep on my path, keep doing what I can to help, advocate for corporations to do their part (corporation pollution accounts for around 70% of global emissions), and work to provide a planet that is safe, habitable, and sustainable for my nephews and future generations to come. Always leave the kitchen better than you arrive, and always leave the land your walk healthier than when you crossed it.



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