To leave my warm weather seedlings out in the storm last night. I have been bringing them in if it is supposed to drop below 45F at night and leaving them out if it is not. The well water here smells like sulfer and I figured the rain water would be good for them. Now I am thinking I should have just collected some in buckets for them. It did stay warm enough but it rained harder than I had anticipated, creating a problem I have never had to deal with before. The splash deposited soil on the stems and leaves causing some to fall over and others to just look rough. I tried cleaning them up this morning by spritzing them with a water bottle. This did very little to help so I did my best to remove some of the caked on soil with my fingers. They all still look a little rough but I think most will survive. Tonight is supposed to get down to 39F so I have brought them in for the night. Here is what they look like now.
On the good side I know that the strong will survive and I want good, strong plants. Time will tell just how much damage I have done. In nature I suppose this is part of the natural selection process so with any luck this will actually pay off.
My tray of cold weather seedlings is living outside full time now and most have been able to withstand the freezes we had last week with no harm.
The spinach (bloomsdale long standing) although quite cold hearty germinated poorly. I think it might have enjoyed warmer soil for germination and in the future I will start it on a heating mat if the temps are low. I had trouble getting the broccoli going as well, but I already knew it prefered warmer conditions than the cabbage, collards, and other winter veggies. The calabrese variety of broccoli seems to withstand cold better than the di cicco, but some of both have survived being frozen. This Sunday I hope to get their bed ready and put them in the ground. I plan on starting more broccoli and some cauliflower in a bed a few weeks from now but first I have to build the beds. Earlier in the week I cleared the trees from the area where these beds will be. I will do as much as I can this Sunday. It is quite a process to go from raw woods to vegetable beds and takes time, especially working alone. As always, I have planned a week of work for just one day. Wish me luck and feel free to stop in and lend a hand if you are in the area.