Wednesday, May 15, 2013


What is the one word a farmer/gardener doesn't want to hear the week after getting all of their tomatoes put out?


That's exactly what the weathermen all through the South and Mid-west were saying this past weekend.  It was all the talk at the great Mammoth Cave too.  In the guide lounge everyone was speculating over the potential damages.  Those without gardens, naturally, were prepared to give much more dire predictions than those of us who had our tomatoes doing quite nicely in the ground. 

You see, frost, if it's hard enough, can break cell walls killing plant tissues.  Last year, a late freeze nearly killed our tomatoes.  Their production was permanently reduced and we hardly had enough tomatoes to eat through the summer.  Forget about canning or sales. 

So we did not take the weather reports lightly this weekend.  On Monday morning, during the time normally reserved for gently waking up with some yoga, and quiet early morning conversations to prepare for another day at the cave, we were outside.  We built a small fire in our smoker grill to warm the lower corner of the garden.
We watered and re-watered the plants (this keeps the inner temperature of the plants above freezing thereby protecting those cell walls)  And we walked up and down the rows waving things around
to get the air moving, since frost is more likely to form in still air.

Micah even walked the rows with a burning piece of wood swirling it around each plant, looking rather like a wizard performing a sacred ritual.
Our vigilance paid off!  Not a single plant was damaged by the chill.  It is possible, of course, that we were over-reacting and that no damage would have occurred had we kept ourselves cozy and warm in the house, quietly sipping our morning coffee.  But, Micah did report early that there was a bit of ice on the lowest plants and those windshields in the driveway certainly had a good coating of frost on them.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you made it through without damage - it was a close call!