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Our February Arctic Blast

February 3, 2019

 

 

 

South Carolina's weather is predictably predictable. We can predictably predict that it will be all over the map.

 

 

There is one constant we have had with the last few years, including this year, that we can count on a few freezing days in February. It is interesting how this arctic blast will effect your crops.

 

A few of your winter crops may be “knocked back” a little, but will quickly recover. Remember that even though the temperatures dipped below freezing, that it didn't dip for long. The actual ground didn't freeze.

 

A few factors came into play with this past freeze that determined whether your plants survived or not.

The first factor is the age of your crops. New, tender, baby seedlings are not as strong and can be killed by a freeze.

 

Also the variety of plants can be a deciding factor on whether the freeze kills or not. Leaf lettuce do better in dealing with the up and down temperatures of South Carolina, however the leaf lettuces are not as frost tolerant.

 

I planted my leaf lettuce mix in a five gallon pot and the freeze did not effect the plants one bit. It may be because it was closer to the house, allowing more shelter from the elements.

 

The Big Red Barn, which has programs for active duty and veterans, has a garden right down from the store. Their garden is made up of raised beds on legs, for easy access. Their garden looks wonderful, but their lettuce didn't survive the freeze.

 

I believe the beds being raised up could have caused the dirt to freeze somewhat, killing the lettuce. It was also a little colder up in Blythewood, than it was at my house.

 

Gardening is never one dimensional. Several factors come into play. I am going to use a sport analogy.

 

You have different sports, such as racing, which there is a clear winner. It is pretty much one dimensional. You run and if you are the first to cross the finish line, then you win.

 

Well then, how about that football game with the bad call? Football is multi-dimensional. There are so many rules,