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BRRR it’s Cold!

March 22nd, 2009

The last 2 days have been pretty cold here in NE Ohio. Last night the temperature was down in the 20′s again, they were calling for snow on Friday but we missed it. My lettuce is doing just fine in the cold frame, it stays just warm enough for it.
cold-frame
I didn’t work out in the garden, I stayed inside and started all of my tomato seeds and a few peppers (it takes a long time to seed 24 different kinds of tomatoes). I also was able to spend a lot of time in the office catching up on work I had put off earlier in the week while working outside.
tomato-flats
This time of year in Ohio you never know what kind of weather you’re going to get. We have a saying here, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes”. It can be 70 one day and snowing the next. This poses quite a challenge for gardening. It’s not rare to have snow in April, which isn’t good for my little plants. That’s one reason we put hoop houses up over our raised beds; this should help greatly with this challenge.
blue-sky
On the bright side it’s going to be nice today and tomorrow, so I’ll be spending my days in the garden again.

I’ve really enjoyed the compost discussions the past couple days. We’ll definitely be revisiting that topic here pretty soon. I think there’s a lot more knowledge for all of you to share on that topic.

Anyone else experiencing more cold weather? Any snow?

10 Comments to “BRRR it’s Cold!”
  1. Julia on March 22, 2009 at 7:52 am

    We say the same thing about Boston weather.

    I bought a collapsible green house that I can pop over my seedlings in bad weather, but so far I’ve been okay.

    Julia’s last blog post.. Garden Updates – Last Day of Winter

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  2. Sande on March 22, 2009 at 9:46 am

    When do you move your tomatoes outside? I’m beginning gardening again after a 25 year break and am searching the garden blogs for tips. I need a refresher course! I did do the wintersown thing that I found from your site. Thanks!

    Sande’s last blog post.. Helper Dogs and Indoor Gardens

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    • Susy on March 22, 2009 at 10:26 am

      I start my tomatoes fairly early and then I repot several times. Tomatoes thrive with repotting. I transplant the seedlings lower in the new pots with the first leave only a slightly above the soil line. I’ll repot several times to bigger pots each time. I keep planting deeper (tomatoes root along the stems, so if you break a branch off a tomato early in the season you can just push it into the soil somewhere and it will usually root a new plant, I got 6 extra tomato plants this way last year).

      I’ll move my tomatoes out during the day when it gets consistently warm, bringing them in if it dips down into the low 40′s. Tomatoes are tropical and it may stunt their growth or prevent them from blooming & setting fruit if they get too cold. I do have a cold frame that I plan on putting them in this year, or I’ll put them in a bed with a hoop house so I can cover them with plastic. Then I won’t have to worry if I put them out a little early. It is always a gamble here because even though our last frost is typically mid May, we can get one in late May. I’ll definitely write a blog post about this later as I repot and harden off, with some great photos.

      If you’re interested in getting early tomatoes I would try a few cold-set varieties. I’m trying 2 this year (Cold Set and Sub-Arctic Plenty) they set fruit at a lower temp. I’ll definitely be blogging about it and letting you know which ones do well in the cold.

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      • Pampered Mom on March 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm

        We’re a bit further North than you so we typically wait until the end of May/beginning of June before we even consider putting them outside. We’ve usually bought our tomato plants from a really nice local farm before, but this year am starting from seed and repoting in much the same way you described. Heirloom Acres has a really nice early tomato seed assortment – You get five different packets for somewhere around $5.

        This year our biggest adventure will be in trellising the plants instead of using cages.

        Pampered Mom’s last blog post.. Busy

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  3. RainGardener on March 22, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Sounds like what our weather has been doing here. I don’t put anything fragile out until after Mother’s Day because my husband put a fuchsia in the cab of his pick up one year to surprise me and it froze!!! So much for that Mother’s Day flower. ;-)

    RainGardener’s last blog post.. Making The Computer Understand

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  4. Frugal Trenches on March 22, 2009 at 11:00 am

    It all looks soooo wonderful! You really do inspire me, even if I have no land ;0)

    Here in England it is like summer!!

    Frugal Trenches’s last blog post.. The weekend in bullets and photographs!

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  5. Teri on March 22, 2009 at 11:12 am

    I started tomatoes on Monday and they are up already! So excited.

    Teri’s last blog post.. 80/365

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    • Susy on March 22, 2009 at 11:41 am

      I can’t wait for mine to come up. I’m checking them every couple hours. I have them on a heating mat to aid in the germination.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. debra on March 22, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    i saw your question about making rootbeer over at downn-to-earth. it’s really simple, in fact i think it’s a bit easier than the gingerbeer. here’s my recipe:

    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 Tbsp rootbeer extract ( i use zatarains)
    1/4 tsp baking yeast
    cold water

    into a 2 litre soda bottle pour in the sugar followed by the yeast. shake the bottle to mix the sugar and the yeast the, when well mixed, swirl it a bit to make a hollowed out spot in the center of the mixture. add the rootbeer extract. fill the bottle half way with cold water (the less chlorine the better). swirl the bottle to dissolve the sugar/yeast/rootbeer combo. fill the bottle the remainder of the way with cold water leaving about an inch of headspace. mix well to completely dissolve the sugar/yeast/extract. leave the bottle at room temperature for 3-4 days until the bottle feels tight and hard. place the bottle in the fridge to stop fermentation. a word of warning: open it sloooooowly the first time…unless you like rootbeer showers :)
    i read somewhere that the alcohol content of homemade gingerbeer and rootbeer is somewhere around 0.35-0.5% far less than the 6% found in beer.

    hope you enjoy it

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  7. Sandy on March 22, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    We are hearing it might snow here in Seattle tomorrow. Crazy weather! We rarely have snow and even more rarely do we have snow in spring.

    Sandy’s last blog post.. Animal smackdown: Harry the goat vs. new neighbor dog

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