Thursday, May 12, 2016


Earlier this week, I spent several hours outside transferring my dahlia tubers into large containers and planting the 6 varieties of mint transplants we bought at Peavey Mart on the weekend.  The blossoms on the trees (crabapple, cherry, apple, and several whose names escape me) were beginning to fill the air with that gorgeous, light, sweet scent I love and that never seems to last long enough.  The lilacs were on the verge of opening and the pansies doing well.

The weather has been on the cool side this week, but not unreasonable for May.  The weather forecast over the last few days has shown overnight temperatures dipping to 0 to 2 degrees, but the items I have outside have always fared well down to zero.  Even so, we still cover things with sheets if there is a risk of frost.

Which we did last night, as the forecast predicted lows of -1 to 0.  When I went out this morning, however, and uncovered the things I spent hours planting (and in some cases, growing from seed and babying since March), I was met with a sickening sight.  I'm going to take a wild guess and say that the lows dipped below -1.  My dahlias - all 9 (I gave two away!) - are completely zapped.  Some of the mint is zapped.  The marigolds, some of the pansies, some of the parsley, and the lettuce that was just starting to come up is zapped.  The kale, leeks, onions, garlic, and chard, of course, are fine.

More zapped dahlias...and a photobomb by Bea, who is tossing something in the air.  (Lou is curled up in the plant next to her.)  Click picture to truly appreciate her moves.  *L*

This is what I get for being lulled into a false sense of security by months of unusually mild and sunny weather.  I should know by now not to even think of planting or putting out anything other than the most cold hardy vegetables before the middle of May.  :(   I will cut back the dahlias and the mint and hope they bounce back from scratch.  If not, it's another visit to the store for more mint, and it will be a summer of zinnias and sunflowers, from seed.

What's really unusual is that most of the leaves on the large trees (crabapples, lilacs, etc.) have been zapped as well.  So there they are, vibrant green and covered with fresh blossom, but badly wilted by frost.  Neither R nor I have seen this happen before and wonder what will happen - will the leaves bounce back, or fall off?  If they fall off, will new leaves grow back over the next few weeks?

crabapple outside plant room

crabapple outside plant room



Between aching from yesterday's potato trench digging and this morning's discovery of half my plants a wilty mess from frost, suffice to say I won't be doing one damn bit of gardening today.


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