Monday, January 11, 2010

Freezing Florida Temps and Gardens

Yep, that's right. Freezing Florida temperatures. And not for a night or two. No-o-o-o, it has been over a week of below freezing temps in Florida. The orange, strawberry, and blueberry farmers are getting no rest because they are up all night monitoring the temps. They turn water on to spray the plants and cover them to make a thin layer of ice which somehow, is more safe than letting them freeze. I need to do more research on this because I know the farmers do this up North also to save the apple crop, etc.

We have covered our little garden, and yet, the lettuce (Romaine) froze. Icy leaves under the cover. However, they thawed and returned to edible lettuce. Yes, we ate them and they tasted fine and fresh. Our neighbor pulled his radishes, frozen, put them in water, and they were fine too. Incredible isn't it?

Dec. 21 my DH planted carrot seed in the ground. During this cold snap, we were amazed to see the little green sprouts in the row. Evidently the ground is warm enough for them to germinate. However these last few days will be the test to see if the above ground small leafy plant will continue to grow or to freeze and die. If the plants make it, we also are curious to see if the carrots will be stunted by the cold temps.

This is our first attempt at raising carrots in Florida. We're probably nuts to try it, but that's what gardening is all about--experimenting, improving, always trying something new. I'll give you a report in about 60 days.

Last night was the coldest night yet--we had 10 degrees on our thermometer low and we are about 40 miles north of Tampa. However it is going to warm up to 52 today and by the weekend it will be 72. Hurry up weekend!

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