I love the word "grassicle". Grasses frozen in movement are so fabulously lovely! The Plano Prairie Garden posted some wonderful grassicle photos in early December. I didn't realize at the time that I would have my very own grassicles in March. Crazy times!
Today the birds will dine from crystal chandelier bird feeders. Eager for the extra calories, a steady stream of birds continue to visit the feeders even in the bitter cold.
Flash frozen veggies anyone? No worries. The heavy weight row covers will provide protection until we thaw later today. We are going to thaw, right?
Until the thaw, the garden is a wonderland of icy crystals.
Every garden plant takes on a new dimension of beauty when frozen. A crape myrtle with seed pods and branches still intact creates a magical web of ice.
The berries of this Oregon grape holly will have to wait for warmer days before they can ripen, but ripen they will. While rare, late season ice storms have coated the berries in prior years and they always pull through.
All this ice is a fun distraction, but this late season cold weather is getting in the way of my gardening plans. I've got tomatoes to plant and cucumber seeds to sow!
What's a gardener to do when even the lettuce and the broccoli is struggling to keep warm?
I'm dreaming of a fabulous harvest, but all I can hear is the clock. Tick tock. Tick tock. Time is wasting. I need to get those tomatoes and other warm season veggies growing and well-established before the heat sets in if I want a bumper crop.
I'm not going to let this cold weather slow me down. I bought my tomato and pepper transplants and bumped them up to 1 gallon containers. In these mobile pots, I can move the plants to a sunny indoor window, the greenhouse, or a under a shady tree depending on what nature throws my way.
I've started sowing other warm season vegetables seeds indoors, because I think this year indoor seed starting will be key to getting an early start. The primary reason is the soil temperature and the effect on seed germination. Here's an interesting Aggie Horticulture link discussing soil temperatures.
Soil temperatures are very cold right now and if this cold weather continues, the soil will be slow to warm. Cucumbers, squash, melons and okra prefer warm soil temperatures of around 70 degrees for seed germination, so giving these seeds an early start indoors will give me bigger seedlings when I can finally plant outside.
Under seed starting lights or in a sunny window, I can get a head start for the warmer days ahead. I can almost taste those fabulous home grown melons now. Stay warm out there!