In the Aftermath of the Frost

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We were expecting snow last night. I have ice on the plants. The garden continues.

My children awoke with a sense of wonder. Would they see snow? They did have the day off from school, so plans are being made. I would rather not drive. This is not the Houston that we are used to. I did make a few preparations, but many of these preparations had already been in the works. Beds were heavily mulched earlier. The avocado tree had its cover, and I finally pulled out a cover for the hibiscus plants. In the morning, I went out to see the state of the garden.
garlic under icemustard laying downice on collards

    Surprisingly good I thought. My older daughter stared in wonder at the icicles dripping down from the boxwood. Bits of ice were on other plants too. Most of my perennials can handle these bursts of cold weather. The annuals which suffer, like my Mexican petunias, are hardy volunteers which come back each year.I was a little more curious to see how the vegetables faired. The cilantro that had surprised me looks as if it will succumb to the cold. Why did this herb choose to begin growing when it did? These were seeds which my daughters had spread I think in the summer. The other vegetables are cold harder. Well, I did have arugula growing, which I would not consider cold hardy, but it was between other plants, so it is alright. The broccoli leaves are bending down with the weight of the ice, so I wonder what will happen. The cabbage looks unconcerned with the weather. The brussels sprouts glisten with their ice jewels. The collards seem to be thinking “oh, this again.” The curly leafed mustard is taking to the weather in much the same way that the broccoli has, but the large flat leaf mustard is folding down, saying “bring me my blanket, and I am going to sleep awhile”.  The garlic says that this is too heavy a load, so the ice pushes her down, while the onion shouts look at me at me!
    Beets and radishes carry on. The seedlings for the carrots and peas are hiding in the mulch.The chard is still glorious. All in all, I am not concerned. I added white radishes into last night’s dinner. A sort of shepherd’s pie was the creation. I browned onions and sausages. Combined in the leftover pasta with beans. The radish was good in this stew. I covered this with a little remaining cous cous that had a beaten egg in it. Cheese went over the top. Not a dinner for a diet, I guess, but it was filling and warm on that cold night.
    Before I may realize it, the warmer weather will have arrived. I will have space for the new plants. Vegetables are coming mainly from the garden, and we have increased our consumption of vegetables. With food prices still climbing, I do worry if I can maintain the harvest schedule. Honestly, I feel that I will. Tonight will be kohlrabi. Tomorrow I will look towards the collards. If things go well for the plants, I will do the same next year. If the losses are great, I will build a cold frame or simply cover the plants with a cover.

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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