Monday, May 29, 2006

Misadventures of an Amateurish Gardener

Or, "There are Reasons Why You Don't Put Out Your Plants Before June 1."

If one is inclined to try the whole gardening thing here in Squarebanks, it is a good idea to get advice from those who have lived here and gardened successfully for some time. That way, when you ignore their advice and something goes wrong, and, say, your tomato plants fall prey to a Really Freaking Late Frost, the chagrin is powerful, indeed.

And you might actually heed the advice next year.

But in my ignorant, advice-ignoring defense, it's been really warm out lately, venturing up into the 80s at least once last week. So, you know, I figured, what's a mere four days???

Yep, it actually frosted here at the CabinDwelling compound on the night of 27th. I got up to empty the tiny dog at 5 a.m. (doh!) and noticed that the plants on the ground looked 'funny.' Funny, as in, they had a tracing of white on them. Funny how it looked and felt like FROST. And across the yard, in a move sort of one of those faux-edgy television programs might jerk the handheld camera around, I noticed that both of my Sun Gold tomato plants were frosty, too.

Pictures to follow. Advisory: Scenes are graphic and may offend Real Gardeners.

The horror, the horror.


Deirdre Helfferich said...

Yup. Ansgar Clausen, who came to Ester in 1946 and died in 2000, I think, NEVER, but never, put the plants in the ground or left 'em outside overnight until June 1. Our place is a little higher, so I can get away with it (usually) by May 27 or 28, but my neighbors down the hill lost a bunch of plants (liquified impatiens), and the nasturtiums I had down in the village square (halfway between, elevation-wise) had a couple of curled leaves and one fatality.

My parents, when I was a wee child, used to frighten me with tales of snow on top of Ester Dome in July. I've seen it in late June and in August, so I can't discount it entirely....

CabinDweller said...

First, Ansgar is such a fantastic pioneer kind of name. Just reading it, you think, yep, one of those Scandahoovian immigrants who would show up one night with just a pocket knife - and up would spring a cabin, sauna and ridiculously orderly, tidy farm.

Second, I am sufficiently chastized. (I almost typed 'chastened' there, but then my brain went off on a riff about 'chaste') and it was all downhill from there, coming to a rest at the wonderful M. Scott Momaday quote:

"Chaste makes waste."

But I digress. Rumor in the office today is that it is supposed to do another Really Freaking Late Frost this weekend. Dare I put out another set of tomatos?