Tuesday, June 13, 2006
news from the garden
The raised beds, all 21 of them, are filled now, and all but two are planted. I decided to hold off on planting the last two on Sunday because...well, notice the tarps laying here and there? On Saturday and Sunday nights, tomatoes, peppers, and other tender stuff had to be covered up because of FROST. Yes, I've learned around here there's no such thing as a "last frost" date. I have also learned that even if the local forecast on the National Weather Service website does not mention a frost advisory or freeze warning, if the predicted low temperature is in the low forties, I might as well count on frost here.
Why is the low temperature here consistently ten degrees cooler than the surrounding area? I don't know, but I have a couple of theories. One, Lake Superior, fifty miles to the northeast, has a moderating effect; the thermal mass of the water might push cold air to the south, and we may be just far enough away to be on the receiving end. Another theory, actually more physical fact, is that even though Sand Creek's "valley" is hardly a deep ravine, there is enough difference in elevation that cold air settles in along the creek.
Because of the tarps, and the motivation of The Hermit Sunday night when I was too tired to trot out to the garden after dark, most of the garden escaped with little damage.
Artistic cutworm collar
Colorful- and ready to eat
We also planted three apple trees just south of the garden area; we bought all hardy Northern varieties developed by the University of Minnesota ag experiment station.
And just as I thought I had the remaining garden beds all spoken for, The Hermit went to the closeout sale at the garden center yesterday and bought more tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, and even okra. I'm going to be planting in buckets pretty soon!