THE KILLING FROST
Spring and Fall are stressful times for Prairie gardeners. With night time temperatures unpredictable and the possibility of snow still in the air, the threat of a Killing Frost is always hanging over us. Most people consider a over night low of -4 c to be deadly to seedlings. Unless you’re ready to gamble it’s best to wait until lows stay above the zero mark for a week or so before planting your babies outside. So when will this magic time occur, to be really safe it’s best to wait till the first of June. Ouch, that’s a way to go!
Unless your blessed with your own greenhouse for most of us this means every south exposure window has a table full of seedlings on it. Darned if they don’t keep growing too. Makes a strong case for outdoor seeding, but as you know our growing season isn’t long enough to support some of the more exotic veggies we so enjoy, like tomatoes. People forget, they’re so common now but a couple hundred years ago these things were the bomb. Some more conservative folks even thought the red fruit was devilish.
If you choose to be daring, there are ways to monitor and protect your more fragile plants. You can purchase or rig up a frost alarm, this torturous device will have you out of bed like a shot to cover your seedlings or move them inside. You may save them with a protective coat of plastic or fabric. No matter how you do it, there’s no escaping the stress and worry. Who said gardening was relaxing, they didn’t live here that’s for sure.
Next up a shout out to anyone near Red Lake Ontario. Please join us for the RED LAKE EARTH FESTIVAL. We’ll be there with worms for sale and Vermicomposting information. Hope you can make it.