Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Out Into The Cold, Cruel World

Two days ago the majority of my seedlings I'd started inside simply N-E-E-D-E-D to go outside. However, I hadn't hardened any of them off yet . . .

. . . so I put a cold frame on top of one of the raised beds and transferred everything lock, stock and barrel (or rather plastic pot, cell pack and peat pot) onto the top of the soil in the raised bed.

Now I open the cold frame lid a bit during the day so the plants don't over-heat and have to remember to close it each night to avoid giving them chilblains.

I really thought it would be such an early gardening season with the unseasonably warm weather we had in March but then cold weather returned to the Northwoods followed by a spell of very dry weather.

When it warmed up enough that I could have planted seeds, the soil was so dry I didn't. Now it's been raining almost steadily for two weeks, a cold front has moved in and the soil is soaked. I think I can hear pitiful little voices coming from my seed packets saying, "Please don't put us out there in that freezing, wet soil! We'll mold for sure."

My last gardening season, my peas had been in the ground for two weeks come this date. I did go ahead and plant my potatoes this year (all six rows of them) right before the rain began. Now I'm concerned that they are going to rot before they can start to grow.

Seems that no matter where we gardeners are located, each climate presents its own particular set of obstacles to deal with. I can't help but think back to my very first gardening years and how foreign and complex it all seemed to me. Now that I have years and years of experience under my belt, it's easy-peasy, right? Hahahahaha!

Our temp is supposed to get down in the 30s tonight with more rain so this sure isn't weather to be setting plants out in the garden. Matter of fact, I maybe should think about a small wood fire (just kidding) inside the cold frame to keep those tender, little plants out there comfy-cozy.

15 comments:

2 Tramps said...

Same thing here, way out west. We had snow coming down this past Thursday. We have to plant this week - things are getting too big waiting. A check of the weather shows us getting down to 31 Saturday night. Guess we will have to plan to cover things if it really happens. Good luck to you!!

Erin said...

Everything is so unpredictable LOL! I sure like looking at that cold frame, it's awesome!

Sue said...

We're expecting frost tomorrow night. It's never ending fun, isn't it?

Mama Pea said...

2 Tramps - Ooops, 31 is a little too close to a bad frost. Sure hope it doesn't get that cold for you. Dragging out coverings for everything is so much trouble!

Erin - Thank you, ma'am! Our gardening up here would be severely limited without the help of the cold frames.

Sue - There's no way one can ever figure it out, is there?

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Well now I have your dry problem. No rain since the first week of May. To add insult to injury the few storms that do come break up over my house, so they get rain everywhere but right here. Makes me want to scream. Too bad we need to eat cause all us gardeners would have soooo much extra time. Bundle up!

Tombstone Livestock said...

beginning to think need to plant garden every two weeks, that way maybe something will survive thru to harvest. I need to replant more peas for some reason (I think the cat) there are only about half of what there should be.

dr momi said...

Love that header!! Glad you didn't plant them yet, after this little cold spell will be perfect.....I fought with 40 - 50 mile per hour wind gusts today, we did get some rain though!

Mama Pea said...

Jane - This is becoming crazier and crazier! Is there no "just right" in the gardening world anymore? I think if my planted potatoes do rot because of all our rain, I may shed a few tears because I don't have anymore eyes to plant and we have been sooo hungry for good home grown taters!

Tombstone Livestock - My husband suggested exactly the same thing last night . . . plant some of each crop every two weeks. It's a thought but not really very practical with most crops unfortunately. All we can do is keep tryin'.

Mama Pea said...

dr momi - Yes, I think the plants will be in good shape to put in the soil after their "incubation" period in the cold frame. Glad you got a little rain. Never being satisfied, we've had plenty now and could use some sunshine! (Remember to carry rocks in your pockets when going out in winds like you had today!)

judy said...

oh no,I see goose bumps starting in the cold frame -get out the wood!everyone go with "Rain Rain Go Away"

odiie said...

My seed potatoes are cut and ready to go, but the potato patch is under water. My lettuce is up and swimming. I heard there was a freeze warning for last night so I brought in all of my plants, kinda glad I haven't been able to get them in the ground yet.
It'll be an interesting growing season.
From Glory Farm,
Rhonda

Mama Pea said...

judy - Drat and darn! We were promised a sunny day today (boy, do we need it!) but now they've changed it to possible drizzle. And the gray clouds look like it's gonna happen. :o(

Mama Pea said...

odiie - Hi, Rhoda! Our one farm in this area (we are NOT in farming country) says he hasn't planted his potatoes yet because it's too wet. He also has dairy cows (it's where we get our raw milk) and he's having trouble finding a pasture for the cows where the mud isn't up to their udders! I guess my problems with my garden are small in comparison!

The Weekend Homesteader said...

I would love a nice cold snap to come my way! It's hot, humid, and 90 here with 95 as a high later in the week. Though I guess the tradeoff is a longer growing season and veggies sooner. I put up my first pickles for the year yesterday, only 4 pints, but it's a start. You're garden always looks so beautiful, so you definitely know when to put things out.

Mama Pea said...

The Weekend Homesteader - This is what I just can't wrap my mind around! You made the first of your pickles yesterday and it's still too cold up here TO PLANT MY PICKLING CUC SEEDS! Do we live in the same country?? ;o} It's a wonder we all manage to get the crops we want (most of the time!) out of our gardens!

Thank you so much for the nice words re my garden. I do get a lot of happiness out of my gardening efforts.