Planting Decisions

In our rush to skip out of town we had to make some quick decisions regarding the yard and garden because our vacation was right smack dab in the middle of planting season. Given the wonky weather over the winter our cold weather seedlings were still enjoying the warmth of the sun porch weeks after their plant date came and went. Per the almanac our last frost date this year was to be between April 1 and April 10. We were scheduled to leave April 12. The temperatures were just starting to break into the 50-60 degree range during the day and were dropping into the high 30's to low 40's at night.

The seedlings if left on the porch would certainly dry out during our week away and die for sure. So, we decided to put all the seedlings we could into the ground on the April 6th, the only day we had a full day to do so. Upon waking the next morning and doing a walk around the garden the rabbits had already started feasting on all of the wonderful leaves. We decided that we needed to have our fencing installed before our vacation if we had any hope of keeping some of the plants for ourselves. That decision left the man and I outside at 10 o'clock at night installing chicken wire to the freshly built frame by flashlight. It was kind of romantic, the two of us outside under the moon light, giggling as we went out our work while the neighbors each took a turn peeking out to see what us weirdos were up to now. We completed the job and felt completely satisfied with our work as we headed out of town. My mom would be water the garden every couple of days which was great because the highs were expected to be in the 80's and the plants would be thirsty.

Flash forward a couple of days and while we are in the middle of paradise our hometown area was in the national news due to the sudden shift in weather. That's right we are a thousand miles away from home and the 80 degree weather turns and the low is now expected to be below freezing! My poor baby plants. I looked around and saw that on the refrigerator near me there was a magnet that said, It is what it is. How completely appropriate it became my mantra over the next couple days.

We came home and assessed the damage. My mom thankfully did what she could to protect things and most of the plants look okay. We lost several tomato plants but we had some seedlings that didn't make it into the ground that my mom placed back inside before the freeze that survived. Things could have been much worse. I did read that one of our local orchards had ice form on all of their fruit tree blossoms. I truly hope that they are able to comeback and have a successful season. I am now able to understand how such a quick change in weather can be disaterous for farmers.

A tomato plant that has seen better days. 

I warned the man that from now on we need to pick our vacation dates around planting season. He just shook his head and smirked.


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