Monday, April 6, 2009

Snow, I thought it was spring.

The snow has shown its ugly face again in our yard. After having no snow since February it is not a welcome sight. It came over night and dropped about 1-2cm so at least there was not a lot of accumulation.

I was a little concerned with the coldframe crops but they seem to be doing fine. On Sunday the frame went above 30c(86f) so I figured it would have enough residual heat to hold it over night. It did as you can see in the photo below. The frame was holding at 5c(41f) well the outside temperature with windchill factored in was -4c(25f). For the next few days we are having really low day time temps followed by even colder night time temps. I think I will start carting all the veggies in the frame inside at night just to be safe.

The lettuce that I seeded in the oak barrel has germinated well. There is not much I can do for them in the cold as the barrel is way to heavy to bring in from the elements. They will just have to suffice on their own.

I have received another seed order as well as picked up a few seed packets at the store. Most of them have been started and some have germinated already.

Here we have herbs and sugar snap peas. I am growing greek oregano,
german winter thyme, hamburg parsley that also produces an edible root
that tastes like celeriac & a basil that grows small leaves on globe shaped
plants. I am also going to grow sugar snap peas in a pot with pea brush.
This pea produces a succulent pod and is eaten pod and all well young.

Here were have parsnips, detroit beets, parmex carrots & leeks
to be grown as fall crops. As well as another packet of mesclun
mix lettuce
that looked particularly nice.

These are dutch sets. I am trying sets & seeded onions
this year to see what does best.

Finally I have order a few ornamentals to be grown in the perennial
borders &
summer planters. The first packet is dwarf zinnias, then
drumstick primula
destined to be mass planted in the woodland border
and cardoon that will be grown
in planters. The cardoon is a relative
of the artichoke and apparently is edible,
I will have to look into
how it is prepared.

Here is a photo I took well building the new raised beds. This photo was taken Saturday which was a miserably cold day with winds gusts up to 80km/h. By Sunday evening I almost completed the two top raised beds and will finish them off this week if the weather ever warms up again. I will also build the "build as you grow potato bin" this week.


  1. Occasionally we get snow in April too. Not very much and it is usually gone in a day or two. Right now we are getting rain. I'm so much happier with that.

    I like the onion experiment. I thought about it too, but never did it. I've never actually grown onions from sets. I keep thinking I ought to try it someday. Instead I'll watch your experiment.

  2. I've always grown my onions from sets or purchased plants (by the bundled bare root bunch). One mistake many make is to look for large sets, when the small ones give the superior onions. Bigger isn't always better!

    I'm loving your barrel greenhouse. I'm in the process of filling my last one with compost, leaves and kitchen scraps to get it ready for planting your melons, but I might "borrow" it and enclose it in a plastic bubble for the next month. My inside greenhouse is filled up!

  3. Your lettuce looks like mine! If your barrel drains well I think they'll be fine. Also the seedlings are shielded from the wind.

    Sorry to hear about the snow; my relatives in Vermont were also complaining. Snow in April is hard for the psyche.

  4. Cold frames are cool!

  5. It's cold here, too! I'll set those tomato plants outside on wednesday, though. This should be our last cold spell. Everything in your cold frame is looking good!


  6. Everything is coming along nicely! I would lay odds that the young lettuces in the barrel will be fine since they are protected with the cover AND they are so small yet (less tender leaves exposed to the cold = less damage potential). I think you are smart though to cart the cold frame plants in at night - at least until the overnight temps moderate a bit.

  7. Lettuce are fairly hardy - I think they'll cope.
    I bring all my plants in from a cold greenhouse at night until mid May - East Yorkshire, England. It's heartbreaking to lose them so late in the season - we once memorably had snow in June!

  8. Daphne - I will keep you posted about the onions. A lot of people use set so they must grow well. They are looking really tempting after nursing seeded onions along since Jan.

    Granny - Thanks for the onion tip, I will plant the smaller sets. Good luck with your melons. I will start mine in May, hopefully in the cold frame if it is warm enough for them.

    Sally - Yes, snow sucks in spring. We have had snow in May too though, that is even worse.

    Dennis - They are cool, I wish I had started using one sooner.

    EG - This cold needs to go away! The cold frame crops are doing very well, I think I am in love with my cold frame.

    KitsapFG - I haven't peaked in yet to see how they are doing as I don't want to let the cold in. I am pretty sure they will be fine as well.

    Vegetable Heaven - I don't think we have ever had snow in June but I do recall a few snows around May 24th. Not a thing you want to see.

  9. I really like your cold frame! I have two now but you have more veggies in yours than I have in mine right now. I need to get moving!

    Thanks for visiting my blog today. I am growing Siletz as one of my early tomatoes as well. Good luck with your Mister Earlies!

  10. Not a nice April surprise. Your cold frame plants are doing very well..... lots of gardening work in your future..........interesting for sure..........

  11. Marc - I am going to add a second frame this fall probably, they fill up fast. I have checked in on your blog a few times. Thanks for the inspiration to grow early tomatoes.

    Rosemary - Yes, the snow is not a welcome sight.