TOW N.H.Do in Jan. - Garden

Jane McGary
Tue, 06 Jan 2004 09:40:47 PST
Mary Sue wrote,
"In Northern California we probably need to protect from frost (or flooding 
as the case may be) this month as it is usually the coldest. In coastal 
northern California where most winters it doesn't get far below freezing so 
we can grow a lot of bulbs from areas that are much warmer in winter we 
occasionally get hit with a really cold night or two some years which can 
cause a lot of damage. So we check the temperatures at night before we go 
to bed, look at the weather report and look to see if there are stars or 
clouds. (Clouds means we'll probably be o.k.) If it is very cold and a good 
freeze is predicted and the stars are out we let the frost cloth down in 
the outside structure. If need be we'll cover benches and turn the heater 
on in the greenhouse so it's a little above freezing, but that's only if it 
is really going to be unusually cold."

Well, in northern Oregon (the state just north of California, here in the 
West where states are big) it gets a lot worse, and it's doing it right 
now. Temperature has been down to 21 degrees F (minus 6 C) inside the 
vented bulb frames - a little warmer inside the solidly closed, 
snow-covered ones - the past two nights and now we are celebrating the 
breakup of the cold front with an ice storm.

I hope those of you who got bulbs from me the past few years are increasing 
them nicely, because I'll have to get some of them back from you next 
summer. I expect massive die-off from this weather, which occurs about 
every fourth year here. The frames have no provision for heating. Three 
years ago most of the bulbs survived much colder temperatures, but that was 
in early December, before many of them had their leaves above ground. 
Fortunately, there has been about 10 inches (25 cm) of snow on the garden 
throughout the cold snap, with the peculiar likelihood that my only Crocus 
goulimyi to survive may be in the open ground.

The floods come next, but I don't have to worry about that up on my 
ridgetop, though I hope I get to town and buy some coffee before the bridge 
goes out.

In disgust,
Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon

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