Thursday afternoon people at work were talking about snow in the forecast. Everyone got all excited about the nearly invisible flakes that you could hardly see amidst the sprinkles.
I’m used to a few inches once or twice a year in Washington enough to make a winter wonderland appearance. Here’s a typical winter snow in Washington:
So needles to say I was not impressed with the nearly invisible “snow” everyone was raving about. As 5:00pm rolled around it was nearly completely dark outside and lo and behold actual snow chunks were falling from the sky. As I got in the car around 6:00 pm I was shocked to discover it was 36 degrees. The closer I got to the house the colder it became. I raced into the house with a 34 degree temperature outside. Snow was already accumulating on my unprotected nightshades.
I ran out and since it had not yet hit freezing decided to salvage what I could of the eggplant, tomatoes and peppers.
This is all I could manage to find with the headlamp getting covered by my hood as it slipped down repeatedly. I’ve had so much practice covering up the plants at night since October’s occasional cold fronts that it only takes about 5 minutes now.
This picture was taken about 5 minutes after I had finished protecting my plants. You can see it was accumulating quicker than I expected at least. With the plants as protected as I could get them I decided to do something I’ve never done before and take a jog in the snow. I got to see a winter wonderland in Texas with children planing in the front yards and making little snowmen.
The sidewalks were fairly clear and it was a fantastic experience. The temperature got down to 29 degrees and all the snow that fell was preserved for the morning. I headed out to take some pictures. It’s not often you can see snow on a banana plant.
I love the contrast of the snow-covered lounge chairs. It’s so bazar how just two days prior My husband and I had been relaxing in the 80 degree weather on them watching the birds and the butterflies.
I noticed there were plenty of hot peppers that I had missed on the garden salsa plants so Since it was still below freezing I decided to pick them all, give them a quick rinse and put them straight in the freezer so they wouldn’t deteriorate and I can use them along with the other frozen peppers this winter and fall.
Here are some before and after pictures:
The same patch in the long bed a week earlier and the day after the snow.
The above are the tomatoes the next morning. I decided to uncover them first thing upon waking because the second veggie bed gets such little direct sunlight I thought it could use all it could get. Well the plants hadn’t thawed out yet. There is significantly more hard freeze damage to them now than is shown in this picture, but even so most of the tropicals in the yard still show about half more life than expected. I don’t have hope that I will continue to be spoiled with nightshades going forward. But it is possible the plants themselves will pull through and give me a head start for next year. I may just decide to rip them out if they end up looking ragged enough. It’s fun to experiment. I was hoping that the cold had made my persimmons a little softer, but after checking today they are still nearly as hard as a rock. I need to start looking up recipes for those! Happy gardening!