It's on those cold clear nights when that dreaded enemy creeps up on you. It's been lurking in our minds all year. All spring it's been nice and warm and misleading. We knew the shoe was going to drop sometime, but we hoped it wouldn't. These last two nights it did. These last two night the beautiful weather betrayed us. These last two nights, it frosted. (Insert ominous dum, dum, dum).
We started working on this Sunday. We had everything planned out. The Husband set up the overheard irrigation. He and I put out row covers at the end that the water didn't reach well (yeah, that was fun. The middles were full of water from Sat. night's rain and what was dry was slippery shoe sucking mud. I have no balance, and I'm trying to pull cumbersome wet row covers over these plants without punching holes in the plastic or stomping on a berry plant accidentally, all while The Boy is whining because his hands are cold and The Husband is whining because I'm slow. I told him he'd rather me be out here and slow than covered in mud and leaving when I fall down. He shut up.) We stayed up late waiting to watch the weather (well it was late for him, and for me incidentally since Sat. night we were celebrating Lynette Howell's 21st birthday :)). Of course all they could talk about was snow near the border. All day I was on the net, checking out forecasts. We subscribe to a service called Berry Alerts (through strawberryweather.com for any grower happening to read this) that sends us information about the weather and frosts and where they think it will. From everything we gathered, no frost. It was going to be cloudy which of course keeps temps up because the air is trapped under the clouds, and windy which wouldn't allow the frost to settle anyway.
Night One. We set the alarm for two. No change. We set the alarm for four. Big change. It was clear and a low of 33 with 31 in some places and a north wind of 2. The Husband gets up to check out the field and cut on the pump. There was frost on some of the irrigation lines and a little light frost on some leaves. I get on the Internet and monitor the temps. The clouds roll back in around five thirty and we decide after looking at the forecasts it probably won't get colder and stop the irrigation. The water is not freezing on the plants, so we take that as a good sign. Yesterday I spend my afternoon slipping and sliding and sinking in six inch deep mud ditching out the middles (fun times!).
|Shoe sucking mud|
|The Husband's solution to shoe sucking mud.|
We're crossing our fingers for no more cold weather like last night for the rest of the season, but you can never be sure. I remember once when I was younger it snowing in April. The Husband doesn't like me to mention that. We're thinking right now that we were able to save most of the blooms and berries we have on the plant now, and as far as I know we're still hoping to have berries in 2 1/2 - 3 weeks. Hopefully.