Fear of the "F" word............

Our weather has been delightful. Our lilacs bloomed in mid-April. My tulips and daffodils are done. The phone has rang off the hook with requests for flowers. But not today.

Today is May 8th. The average frost free date in our area is May 10th. We have not had a frost since early in April.

We are expecting frost tonight.

I start planting around April 15th. I start with cold-tolerant plants. Rudbeckia, verbena, dianthus and snapdragons. A lot of short-lived perennials, perennials in zone 7 or very hardy annuals.

My last shipment of planted arrived this week. 600 zinnias, 400 impatiens. The very last plants to go in the ground.

Our weathermen have been predicting patchy frost in our far northern counties all week. But I felt fairly safe to plant those impatiens and zinnias on Thursday. Now ... its not the prediction of patchy frost .... it is frost. It is almost a hard freeze. It could be the end of Miss Eff's for the year before I get started.

I watch weather forecast with great intensity this time of year. Yea, I know its time to go to bed but the weather hasn't been on yet! Its the first thing I look at when I wake up. And the last thing I see when I go to bed.

Four weeks of watching the temperatures. Oh -- I know. We farmers always complain about the weather. We complain if it is too wet .... we complain if it is too dry. We complain about the wind and the clouds and yet, tonight I want both to keep away the cold temps.

There are many days when I have sore knees, sore back or when I am trying to balance a checkbook that is lacking funds ......... I question whether I am cut out for farming. Today is is one of those days.

I fear the "F" word.


fullfreezer said…
I've been holding off planting things, looking at the long range forecast. But, we're gone for 4 days next week and little plants need to be in the ground since there will be no one to water them. *#&% Frost!!!
Michelle said…
How many sheets and lightweight blankets can you scrounge up? How about a big bonfire in the middle of the "farm" and a bunch of fans, a la citrus groves?
hickchick said…
I like Michelle's idea of a bonfire. I also remember reading (little house series?) about the entire family out in the field in their bedclothes one morning poring water over their corn seedlings to prevent frost damage. What about a little sprinkler action? Sending you warm thoughts from N. WI where we KNOW our frost free date doesn't happen 'til Memorial day!
BlueGate said…
I feel your pain! Sending warm plant thoughts your way!
Barb said…
Sunday, 7:29 a.m.:
Were you spared? Frosty here and I have been avoiding going outside to see the damage. I am hoping these Wisconsin plants are a little hardier being a bit further north.
clink said…
Made it! Made it! Made it!

Michelle -- my main cutting bed is 80x80 -- then there are 50'-90' borders around everywhere. I don't have THAT many blankets!

And the prediction of a freeze was more than a sheet could handle. The frost cloths were fantastic .... but as always... the weather bureau was wrong. The lowest temp I saw was 36.
hickchick said…
Hurray--it was very depressing to think of all your little babies frozen.

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