Bitter Cold Alert for Gardeners and Growers

I waited, hoping to see that the forecast cold would be moderated by a warmer weather system as the last one was—but it hasn’t happened. The predicted cold weather, starting Sunday or Monday is for extreme lows over the next 3-5 days that would be very damaging this late in the winter. All around the region the forecast is for lows of -5 to -8 degrees C (18-23 F). Even Seattle has forecast lows of 23-26F). I discussed cold-proofing tips in my previous message.

Given how cold it could be, I suggest you harvest as much of the above ground crops (leeks, cabbage, kale, Br. sprouts, chard, etc.) as you can stuff in your refrigerator and cover everything you can’t harvest. I am breaking into my stash of leaves for next summer’s mulch to cover cabbage heads and renew the mulch on beds of root crops. My purple sprouting broccoli and winter cauliflowers were looking so promising with little heads starting that I will be covering them with tarps to try to prevent damage to the tender growing points.

So many be should all cross our fingers and hope for snow (really!—it insulates the soil and would help to reduce damage to roots of perennial plants).

February 16, 2018 9:43 AM

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