Monday, May 19, 2014

Two Degrees Of Frost

Posted frost warnings ended the night's sleep early this morning. Legend has it that if the frost is washed off the plants before the sunlight strikes them, frost damage may be avoided.  Whether that is fact or fiction is not the point.  Washing frost was the only thing that could be done since our overnight low hit 30 degrees F.

Footprints in the white grass will blacken in the sunlight.  Brittle blades of grass were broken by contact with my boot.  Many times valley fog prevents formation of frost but this morning the droplets of mist are themselves frozen.  Clear blue sky is peeking through directly overhead.

Strawberry freezer jam is a special treat that starts many a morning here.  Recent heavy rainfall changed our muddy flat river into a finger lake as the river filled low fields with brown water.  A phone check revealed that the flat where we pay to pick strawberries did not flood and it is low enough that frost may not have hit there last night.  Our two dozen plants were just mulched with straw and it lessened the hardness of the frost.  What frost did form was washed off.  Our strawberries should have avoided widespread damage.

Sod block walls and a tarp provide protection for the newly emerged Oriental lilies.  Sunlight is already hitting the higher ground and will soon find the tarp.  Warmth will build under the cover and the tender new growth under it should be fine.

Every plastic pail that we own was used to cover something tender last night.  Three Salmon Star lilies spent the frosty night under this garbage can.  Water splash can be seen on the stone wall where frost was washed of the Pinxter.  We will wait to see if those flowers escaped damage.

Our wild blueberry bushes grow in the shadow of the gravel bank hill. Frost pours down upon us as cold air slides down the nearby ridge. In this protected spot, these blossoms may have escaped damage. The blueberry opens its flowers a few at a time so the still closed ones should still have the potential to form fruit.  Slender green rods push outward from past blossoms that have already made fruit.

Sunlight is now streaming down on all of the gardens.  Time to get my feet wet while removing all of the protecting buckets and the tarp. Then the many pots of plants that spent the night inside will be returned to the stone wall.


Northern Shade said...

I hope that you plants survived the late frost with all of your hard work.

The strawberry plants look cozy in their straw bed. Do you make jam out of your own strawberries, or save them for munching fresh?

Becky said...

We love freezer jam. It's so close to the taste of fresh. If we don't get enough all at once for jam, we go to a local u-pick farm. We have some everbearing strawberries so have a few to munch fresh into the the fall.