Getting Colder…

It hasn’t yet sunk below freezing, but it will tonight.  I’m concerned about all the perennials and bulbs coming up here at home, all the trees budding out with the last week’s gorgeous spring weather.

Even my heirloom apple trees (Northern Spy & Cox’s Orange Pippin), usually more circumspect in their spring awakening, are pushing out little silvery nubbins. The hyacinths are up, and even some Asiatic lilies near the foundation.

It’s pretty likely the flowers will have their little tops frozen, so beyond the crocuses that’ve been blooming, I might not get many more spring flowers for all the planting I did last fall.  I might cover the big red Dutch tulips in the middle of the yard, but beyond that, I’m just going to let the chips fall.

And the next few days will be COLD–highs during the day will still be above freezing, but nighttime temps will be well below–in the “hard freeze” range–mid twenties.

We might even get a little snow toward the end of the week, which would actually help to insulate, but I’m afraid that won’t help the trees much, nor the bulbs and perennials subjected to severely chilly (for them, anyway) temps over the next couple of nights.

The garden seeds sown last week will likely fare much better.  A similar cold snap occurred last year, at the very end of March/beginning of April.  I feared I’d have to re-seed some crops–beets and arugula especially–that I’d got in early, but that didn’t end up being the case.  They were just a little slower to emerge.

I am going to don the muck boots and head out to take a look at the gardens after last night’s wind storm and deluge. I wanbt to see if anything’s coming up yet that I might want to throw a floating row cover on for the next few days just to be safe.

After that, I’m coming home to finish the minestrone I’ve started to keep myself and H warm and toasty. I’ve got some kidney beans simmering (the second half of the batch I soaked for making Italian sausages and beans last week), and I pulled out the last bag of frozen roasted summer squash and yellow beans.

I’ll add an onion, a goodly portion of crushed-and-chopped garlic, a chopped fennel bulb, a can of organic diced tomatoes (woefully not my own–I’m out), and some star-shaped pasta.  I should probably pick up some organic carrots and celery at the store, too, since I can’t imagine minestrone without them.

While that’s simmering, I’ll turn on the NPR: South Dakota’s KUSD upstairs while I’m doing dishes and Iowa’s KWIT when I’m down in the basement working on the next seed-starting project.  My little fifteen-year-old boombox with the broken antenna only gets the Iowa station in its basement home.

I’m not sure I should even say I’m planning on starting the tomatoes today, as I’ve been saying that for over a week now.  Let’s just say something will get seeded, and I’ll report on what that was in my next post–later tomato time, same tomato channel.

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