Trimming Back What The Frost Got

By Jannie Vaught

So many gardens were severely frost bitten, or should I say froze to death, that my message box became full in one day!

What do I do and will it survive?

If any tender vegetables were out it probably will not be a good producer if it survives. Even my hardy winter worn mustard greens were bent over double. Most of my herbs, like oregano, garlic chives and anything under a shelter, plant or awning seemed to do better.

I was so proud of the Greg’s Mist I had just planted, and it is froze black!

So the trimming back has begun. All the mustard and left over turnips went to the chickens. They were happy about that And thankfully the water bibs were still covered. And every year this seems to be the way of it. In my garden journal I am writing in Bold Black letter “Wait to plant till late March” and then check the soil temperatures. Many are concerned about their flowering fruit trees. But if you look close they are still blooming. And the flowers that were on were not frozen, they were a little nipped. I am hoping for the best. At least the Fig trees have sense enough not to leaf out early. But nothing seemed to stop the grass growing. It has taken a big breath and charged on.

So lets have a look at what is next. Clean up and wait.

Turn the compost pile.

Get the garden journal out and update.

Draw out your garden and arrange the seeds and transplants that will eventually go out.

Make note on what grew well and what variety or company to not plant again.

Make sure that the sun loving plants get their right location and under story of shade plants have a good place to go.

Take a moment to arrange the shorter plants in the east and the taller ones behind so the tall trellises or corn wont shade out the tomatoes and peppers.

Make a wide place for sprawling melons and squash.

It takes a reminder from last year to get that little shift that makes it a little better and remember last year we got hot and dry fast, take time to get your watering system in good order, and all the rain water collecting ready to go. The better you care for each plant with their water needs in the heat the longer and more production you will have.

Think ahead, plan,trim back, and know that Spring is and can be a roller coaster. But the season will be full of fresh home grown tomatoes and sweet corn. That’s the reason we garden. Our LLano Library, Back to Basics program has launched a program “Plant a Row for The Hungry”. It is simple, grow an extra row for your neighbor, family, and community. Donate to the Food Bank or local church who has meals. A gardener is never empty handed, we are generous and thoughtful, ready to share learning, tips and the abundance our gardens provide.

We made it through and still growing Green with Jannie