Friday, April 19, 2013

At Market 4/20, but have laryngitis!

I will be there tomorrow, but mostly whispering. I'll give out handouts so I won't have to talk as much. I will have plenty of plants to sell, but some of them are not quite ready for planting because I couldn't keep them outside to harden off with the foot of snow and 6 degree temp we had on Wed.
Come see what we have, and if you buy plants, make sure you are ready to harden them off yourself, since you will probably not plant them til the ground dries out.
Next weeks weather forecast calls for normal Spring weather, snow or rain on Monday, then sunny and warm. It may be dry enough to plant by the end of the week. My best advice is to wait til next week to buy plants. They'll be hardier after I harden them off properly, and your ground won't be as muddy.
See you there!

How to "Harden Off" your plants

Acclimating Your Plants before planting them in your garden

WeeBee Farms takes pride in selling you plants that are ready for planting today. However, during periods of extreme weather, we need to protect the plants in the greenhouse and they may need re-acclimated to the outdoors. Or you may have kept your plants indoors or in the shade for a few days and will need to harden them off yourself before planting.
Cold weather plants (lettuce, kale, broccoli, chard, peas, etc)
Acclimating your plants to the outdoors is extremely important to their survival. Because plants usually are grown in greenhouses, they've been pampered. They need to be introduced slowly to the elements of wind and intense sun. The cold temperatures don't bother the plants as much as wind and sun.
Initially, you will put plants outdoors only for short periods of time, perhaps for an hour.  (If you see it wilting, put it back in the shade for a while). You'll want to set them in a semi-shaded area of the yard. Gradually, you will increase the time plants are kept outdoors; you also will gradually increase their exposure to sun. After 6 to 8 days, these plants will be ready for the outdoor life.
Do not cut back on watering. Plants that are in small pots dry out very quickly and need to be kept moist. Plants are also more susceptible to heat and cold in their small pots. Once in the ground, the soil will moderate the temperatures.
It's a good idea to transplant on a cloudy day or in the evening, when the plants won't get full exposure to the hot sun on their first day in the ground. Water the plants and planting hole deeply.
Hot Weather Plants  (Basil, Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumbers, Squash, Beans)
We don't plant our tomatoes or basil out until May 31st, Peppers a week or two later. They will die at 32 degrees, and they do NOT like cold ground temperatures, especially peppers. We have been successful at growing tomatoes and peppers for 16 years. We are in Boulder County 10 miles north of Boulder. Boulderites may be able to get away with planting a week or so earlier.

(partly adapted from the CSU extension information)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wednesday morning after the storm

I said the lettuce was hardy to about 10 degrees, especially with a good snow cover. It turns out it is reasonably hardy at 1 degree, with just an inch or two of snow! These were in an unprotected garden. Some of the outside leaves will probably die on the plants that were planted on Sunday, but it looks like the plant will grow back. I'll be checking in on these to see. I hope all the plants that were planted in Boulder fared well, too. The extra snow in Boulder should have helped insulate the plants.
Garlic poking up through the snow. We had about 2 inches of snow, and it was 1 degree above zero last night. Good thing garlic is super hardy!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Will be at market this Saturday, April 5th!

We'll have lots of cold-hardy vegetable plants. Kale, lettuce, peas, chives, onion starts and more. Also Salad bowl planters, alpine strawberry plants and organic kitty oats.
Come say hi, and get ready for Spring gardening!