Friday, March 7, 2014

Science/Horticulture: Yikes! Frozen Seedlings, Week 2

Even though all our plants were coming out of dormancy, a late freeze hit! Madeline freaked out and wondered if her little seedlings would survive. Actually, she downright panicked. So we covered them with lots of leftover fall leaves in an effort to insulate them.

Poor marigolds, I saved the flowers for the seeds.
Then I piled up more leaves to protect our little seedlings.

In the span of two days, the temperature dropped from nearly 80 degrees to 21 degrees. A 60 degree difference. How's that for crazy Texas weather?

Two days later, there was still evidence of the freeze on the ground and in our pots.

Small bits of frozen ice in the camilla pot. The big buds
seem to be fine and are still opening into their flowers as if
the freeze never happened. 

We carefully removed our layers of leaves to see if the sprouts were survivors. Just a couple had a tiny bit of leaf burn, but no damage to the stems. And most were absolutely perfect!

Minor leaf burn on just a handful of sprouts.
No damage to stems and secondary leaves are sprouting.

Most seedlings are just perfect. Whew!

Wondering if the leaves that had damage are a different plant than
the rest? We'll find out soon enough.

All the flowers and new growth on my peach tree and hummingbird plant died. Madeline and I don't know how or if our peach yield will be affected. This is our first spring with the peach tree, so I hope we get more flowers and don't lose fruit!

This led to a wonderful discussion on farming and weather. Madeline was shocked that framers could lose an entire crop {and their monetary profits} due to late freezes or extreme weather. She decided we should definitely not be farmers and only grow crops for fun! 

She even remembered about farmer Fitzgibbon from Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and how he had to try to predict the last frost so he could plant his crops. We talked about what would happen to the crops if he planted too early or too late. She definitely has a whole new appreciation for farmers!

I'm tempted to keep a few leaves in case another late freeze comes our way :)  How are your seedlings faring? Any close calls? Tips for saving them? 

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