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RE: cold weather and winter gardening--outdoors?

Here in our zone 5 area, we see this sort of thing in the spring when so
many plants begin to push their tender shoots up through the soil and mulch
to reach the warmth of the sun.  We will have about 6 weeks of warmth
followed by frosts and freezes and vacillating back to warmth again.  Our
last ave. frost date is May 15th, so we see a good number of folks out
covering the new shoots and starts with whatever is available, including
trash cans, milk cartons (one of my favorites--with the bottom cut out and
the lid easily taken off as the weather warms again) to trash cans, boxes,
etc., etc.  (Cardboard is a pretty good insulator, but it doesn't hold up to
more than one or two frosts. :>D)

Right now it is 19 F., the wind-chill is 6 F. and it has been snowing all
day!  I think we got an additional 5 inches of the fluffy white stuff.
Fortunately it is fairly wet, so we haven't gotten much drifting yet.
However, if we get the snow predicted tonight, that will be a much drier
snow because the temperature will plummet like a rock.  When I wake up in
the morning, it should be around an honest -3 F without adding the
wind-chill factor.  BRRRR.  

Someone at church was telling me about a speaker they heard propounding the
benefits of cold gardening/seeding.  Supposedly, we should be able to drop
cold tolerant seed on garden beds in the winter if there is no snow cover
(of which we are getting our fair share the last few days) and the freeze
and thaw is supposed to gently snuggle them into their beds and prepare them
for germination in the spring.  Now aside from the fact that we probably
won't see the dirt for at least another month or two, I don't know whether I
want to fumble with little seeds with gloved hands in the bitter cold when
the birds are obviously scrounging for their food and take the chance that
it won't be eaten within minutes of being "sprinkled."

Has anyone else heard of this phenomenon?  I'm quite curious.  Mother used
to say that her step-dad sprinkled grass seed on top of the snow to fill in
their damaged lawn.  Is there some value in this?



-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On Behalf
Of TeichFlora@aol.com
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2003 8:40 AM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] cold weather

LOL  Ceres,  I think this is "common" all through the south.  Here in 
Southeast Tx. we had our second or third freeze for the season, although it 
was not bad....everyone is poised for the worst.  Driving down streets, 
public workers are out covering plants in public places with sheets,
etc.  At private homes, there are usually more plants, so one will see the 
sheets and blankets come out first, then the towels, then anything that one 
has to cover....including clothing.  LOL   It is truly a tacky sight to see,

but thank goodness we only have short freezing spells, so the coverings are 
gone as quickly as they come.

zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast

In a message dated 1/25/2003 11:02:23 PM Central Standard Time, 
gardenchat-owner@hort.net writes:

> Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2003 23:44:16 EST
> From: Cersgarden@aol.com
> Subject: [CHAT] cold weather
> Jim, in our Des Moines paper today a photo appeared which appears to be of

> a 
> home landscape.  The shrubs/plants are wearing short sleeve shirts
> tightly around them for protection against the cold.  Is this common 
> protection in Florida?
>   Ceres

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