Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Weak Farmer's Market and Wet Heavy Snow

It's been an exciting 10 days since my last update.  Plenty of things to talk about, but a few lows to go with the highs.

We attended the Farmer's Market on Drake on May 8, and we ended up leaving with nothing because our friend Sue wasn't there, and we didn't see a whole lot of good plants.  Plus, we were on our way to Denver to meet some friends to go to the zoo and were a little concerned about leaving them in the Element.  It turned out for the better anyways, as we ended up finding much better plants the next weekend.

The main story for the past week and a half has been the weather.  On May 12, we got a snowstorm that dumped 6-12" of heavy snow all over our area in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado.  Many trees suffered broken branches, and there were power outages too.  But, we did very well with our plants protected in the wallowaters.
Even with deep heavy snow on May 12, our garden was protected by 36 Wallowaters
At this time of the year, things like the rock path hold more heat, so the snow melts more quickly.
The Chives already had their Wallowaters removed, but they handle snow like this pretty well.
Here, however, we had a problem.  Our beautiful early beans are buried in this box.  

The tomatoes did well in this first storm.  The Roma's, which were planted as early as March 29 (see the planting log) had just barely started coming out of the tops of them.  While the snow piled up on top, it actually created a roof over the plants, protecting them from the colder temperatures above.  The heat radiating from the water kept the plants inside toasty.

The peppers did well, but because they took up less of the interior space, they did look a little chilled - no problems, just a bit more towards the crisp end of the spectrum.  And, of course, all the herbs (Thyme - three kinds - , Rosemary, and Tarragon) were still thriving in their wallowaters.

The snows all melted by Friday the 14th of May.  The moisture was definitely beneficial to the garden and surrounding landscaping.  But, as the sun came out over the weekend, we discovered that the beans had taken a bad hit.  All of the new leaves had dried and shriveled, and you could see some sprouts that were stopped in mid-sprout.  It was sad and ugly.  That's what we get for pushing the edge on our planting early.
We do have some ideas on how to protect them once there is the new Straight/Velcro version of the Wallowater next season.  We are still waiting for prototypes, but we think they will be very useful when you need to plant in rows, versus small circular areas.

I made a short video tour of the garden the morning after the snow, giving you my first impression and inspection of the garden. 

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