Monday, March 14, 2011


I've planted my tomato seeds in their bond paper tubes, each 4 inches tall. There is only room for one group of seedlings on the window shelf, and so this action requires the broccoli and leeks to toughen up, to take to the outside -permanently.

It is March 14th, and on March 14th our weather history shows that the temperature could rise to 85 degrees F or sink to 6 degrees F. It could snow as much as 15 inches or rain nearly three. But on average, our temperature should rise into the high forties, stay above freezing at night by just a few degrees, and rain should be no more than a quarter inch, daily. Our NYC days are now nearing 12 hours of sunlight, enough energy to warm the soil and power the plants.

So my judgement is that I'm to leave them outside, in the cold frame, with a jug of hot water, each night. This Wednesday I believe I will put them in the field, where they will need to be brave because I will not be available to tend to them for 8 plus days after the moment they settle into that cool, damp soil. It's the wind that will challenge them, broccoli mostly, and I have not yet devised a good system for breaking it. I do have row cover fabric and must give that some thought before planting day.

In the vegetable garden the risk lies between this and that -at boundaries, but averages tell us it's gonna be alright. And so we do not wait, we accept risk.


  1. Fingers crossed for your broccoli seedlings. Last weekend Joe and I transplanted some seedlings down at FBGA. His to a cold frame, mine to a bed partly protected by some plexiglass. I didn't think mine would survive, but so far they are still standing. This was without any hardening up, so perhaps yours stand a real chance. Re: wind protection..we haven't done this for cool season veggies, but for early planted tomatoes, we sometimes use a light canvas clothespinned to some stakes and it's worked. I've seen people use 5 gallon containers (bottoms cut out) around plants too.

  2. hmm. That gives me an idea or two. Only a day to develop it!

  3. From your work, I thought you might have some extra canvas around. Or maybe drop cloths. Looking forward to hearing what you come up with and more importantly, the good news that it worked.

  4. March weather is so unpredictable!


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