It’s been a wild spring around the Half-Acre Homestead. The weather has been nothing but weird with our lack of winter and early warm-up. Following the tornadoes we had to dodge in March, we’ve been struck by two hail storms recently. The hail pelted our plants that emerged from their winter slumber early but luckily didn’t leave too much damage behind.
Panic set in again at the Half-Acre Homestead this week as we got a late season Frost Warning issued for southwestern Indiana. Just a week before, our normally conservative agricultural extension agent had given the all-clear signal that people could go ahead and plant their precious seedlings and begin the gardening season.
Mother Nature had a different idea though when she ushered in some colder air from our good friends up north. We literally had just replanted a wave of rogue tomato seedlings and some rogue pumpkins that have sprouted up around the yard. To make it even worse, we planted them on the hillside out by our little pond which gets a considerable amount of frost compared to the protected confines of our square foot garden.
Luckily, with a 7 month old in the house, we have a stockpile of baby food jars in the garage. We never know when these might come in handy so we always keep a basket or two of them around. We were able to turn a basket full of baby food jars into an easy, DIY cloche that would protect our seedlings from two nights of frosty temps.
After two nights of frost, we were able to lift the jars on Friday and found all the seedlings had survived. Safely tucked away in their jar, warmth and condensation helped them through the night. Well, most of them. Our Darling Daughter Everly thought the already dead raspberry cane out by the pond needed some extra help so she loaded it up with baby food jars.
While it wasn’t useful in protecting the long-departed raspberry cane, it made for a nice rustic art installation on the Half-Acre Homestead. We shall call it “Bottle Bush”. In the meantime, try to track down a friend, neighbor or relative who has a little one and get your hands on a basket of your own, easy, do-it-yourself garden cloches. Enjoy!
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