29 Degrees Tonight, burrrrrah
As usual, our crazy weather here in Texas goes from nice warm days to below freezing temps at night. Not to worry though, as the saying goes, "if you don't like the weather just wait 15 minutes and it will change again."
I'm biting at the bit to get all my Cole crops planted in my prepared raised beds for our first spring as a CSA but 29 degrees tonight and 22 degrees manana is an exercise in patience, lol. The beds are watered and since I do have onions and some carrot, swiss chard and sugar snap peas planted I will be covering my beds tonight. I use hoop house/cold frame methods as I like the heat generated by the watered soil and straw surrounding the beds for warmth. It worked like a champ when we still lived in University Park in Dallas and had 2 feet or snow in one night 2 years ago! I was very nicely surprised to see I had tomatos growing inside my hoop house and all of my tropicals I had stored in there survived with little or no damage! Between the well watered straw bales and the insulating snow on top of and surrounding the hoop everything inside thrived! It was a little over two weeks before the temps let up and snow was completely gone so I left the hoop and its inhabitants undisturbed for the entire time. You can see some of these pix on my "hoop house" page on our web site.
I'm going to take advantage of the 45 degrees and bright sunshine this beautiful afternoon to warm up my beds once I secure the plastic over the pvc hoops in a few mins! Being major recyclers, we use the 2 litre soda bottles filled with water to keep the plastic sheeting in place on the smaller hoops while I use tarp clamps on the big hoop house. The water also helps insulate the houses/frames and comes in handy when I don't feel like dragging a hose a half acre away. My seedlings and plants love the water warmed by the sun in the soda bottles instead of the cold water coming out of the hose, burrrrrrah. Happy plants grow happy veggies.