Garden Update After 1st Night of Freezing Temperatures

by | Nov 10, 2020 | General

Greetings from Cornville, Arizona.

Yikes! Last night the wind was howling so strongly that I almost felt like I was going to be blown over as I was putting a cover over my garden in an attempt to keep the plants warm enough to ward off the freezing temperatures that we were going to experience last night as well as the next several nights.

The first problem I faced was the fact that I didn’t have any type of garden cover materials, so what to do, what to do?  My father was always able to figure something out.  He could make something out of nothing.  So, I asked myself, “What would Dad do now?”

I went into my garage to search for something.  I remembered that I had a huge and quite heavy tarp, so I went to pull that down from the shelf.  It was, of course, on the top rack with all the outdoor furniture covers piled on top of it.  I threw them off and down to the floor as I finally reached the tarp, realizing that it was much too heavy to use.

I felt defeated before I even got started, until I heard this voice in my head saying, “Hey, you have the perfect item for this, and you already threw it on the floor!”

But, of course, the picnic table cover, which measure 6’x9′ in length/width with 3′ sides.  And, it’s not nearly as heavy as the tarp.

The next task was to figure out how to install it.  Ah, I had the perfect solution stored in one of my sheds by the garden — tomato cages.  I lined up nine of them in 3 rows in the garden.  While this wouldn’t cover the entire garden, it would cover all the greens, the escarole, cauliflower, and the vast majority of the broccoli rabe.

I carefully placed the picnic table cover over the tomato cages, and secured the sides with rocks from my arroyo.

It worked fairly well, that is, until the wind came a whipping about.  Out i went three times in the early darkness of the evening to re-secure the sides with yet even larger rocks.  But, alas, to no avail on the side by the broccoli rabe.  I finally left it in the state of the cover coming off the first row of cages, coming down to rest on top of the onion starts.  I prayed for the best and went to sleep, feeling that I had done the best that I could with what I had on hand.

As soon as I awoke this morning, I was so pleasantly thrilled and excited when I went out to the garden to find everything having survived, and done quite well.  Success!  The garden thrived through the night; and since it rained, it received the nourishment it needed to continue to flourish.

So later today, I will re-cover the garden in anticipation of freezing temperatures again through the night.  I will also cover some of my cactus and succulents that are averse to colder weather as well as my fig tree.

And so the learning journey of my gardening continues.