Indoor repotting

We got almost an inch of sleet today.
Briar’s toes provide excellent grip.
Squirrel tree in our neighborhood.
This evening we repotted baby tomatoes and peppers. Mid last week I forgot some other repotted tomatoes outside and they froze. So those three varieties are being germinated again. But meanwhile these babies needed new pots.
One dwarf tomato is thriving and fruiting; the other is drying up and has spider mites. Paula bought a basil and is keeping it alive. The indoor peppers have a good head start for spring but I doubt will fully fruit by then.

Winter wheat did not do fine

So, even with covering, 12° F was too cold for the baby wheat. All wilted and dead. Oh well. It made it through 15 before, so it may have just been for too long, or finally past a threshold.

Finally some rain (plus snow)

Snowed Saturday overnight, so this is Sunday morning.
Heated bird bath, much luxury.
Hopefully the bit of snow kept baby cacti and succulents and Hedeoma safe with a low of 12°F overnight.
Leaves and wire mesh stayed put.
So did the towels. We’ll probably uncover again in a few days once the next deep cold snap is over. A season of extremes!
This strawberry had a flower. Bad idea.
Rain barrels all open so they don’t crack.
Sugar peas definitely done this time.
The rain softened the ground enough that the three of us managed to dig the shallow trench needed for the border (to keep Bermuda grass out of raised beds) in about 40 minutes before dinner tonight.

Big freeze again

We covered the young mizuna, lettuce, wheat, and cabbage with leaves and towels. Now frozen on.
Rain has already frozen after it fell. No glaze ice at least!

Low 19 F forecast tonight

Leaves to insulate the baby bok choy
Leaves to insulate the baby lettuce
The screen (made to keep rabbits out) holds the leaves in, in case there is wind.
Apparently one should blanch small round fruit before attempting to make raisins. Regular ground cherries.
A chironomid fly adult chilling near garage door.
Some sort of cutworm, on collard greens, the previous night. I threw it out in yard where hopefully the mockingbird will find it.
I touched another dog!
The Chef successfully made honey mead! We tried it. Was good. He says it needs to age now.
Crabapple jelly central.
Hanging out in his haunted mansion.

Dog ideas

Briar needed out early this morning.

Elderberry is so close to blooming.
The very heavy rain yesterday evening knocked off the cactus’ impending fruit.
Culinary sage is sprouting this time (earlier this spring I planted some and only a few came up).
One of my baby cacti.
A different species got covered in cottonwood fluff and dew.
There is moss growing in the planter!!

Suspense

Did the tender plants (tomatoes, peppers, ground cherries, potatoes, and runner beans) make it yesterday??? Tuesday night into Wednesday morning it got down to 29F in Norman, apparently a new record low (the previous being 30F in 1918. SEE WHO WEATHERED THE WEATHER!!

Tommy toe tomato did not make it. Note how the leaves are a darker, mushy/soft green and drooping. Goner.
Both of my new tomato varieties, supposed to be better for canning, died. One was the Amish paste (not pictured), which I have more of in pots. The other was Hungarian heart tomato (pictured). I have planted some more seeds and put them in the warm plant window to sprout. The culprit is pictured on the left… oatmeal container cardboard does not insulate enough. I thought it would be nicer since they’re tall and big, but apparently you need more, like the air trapped in corrugated cardboard. All the survivors were under towels, glass jars, plastic jars, plastic pots with newspapers, cardboard boxes, or even leaves-as-mulch (one Peruvian ground cherry in the backyard). A few branches got frosted but they can be trimmed off.
One branch of this potato died when the box top fell in (I had set another bag of potatoes on top). But the rest of the plants were fine. An example of corrugated cardboard doing its insulation job. I was surprised that an uncovered potato in a raised bed did not completely die of frost. Only a branch or two was dead.

Three casualties of a late frost, and all due to poor choices of insulation (which I now know to avoid), are really not bad. I’m pretty pleased.