Well, according to 9 News and News 4 and Fox31 and Channel 7 and The Weather Channel, as well as some Master Gardener Lady in Minneapolis who advised me via the InterWebs, I have done it all wrong.
After a beautiful Mother's Day Weekend and a full week of beautiful temperatures, we took a nose dive into the Upper/Mid 30s this week and all the little weather folks went cattywampus over what to do with your newly installed gardens.
Cover them up, they shouted, snow's a comin,' winter is here and unless we get somebody named Daenerys to fly over with a heartburn afflicted dragon, your little sproutlings will die out like they were all named Lannister! (I don't know what any of that means, but Furious George and Mr. Bitterman took it all very seriously.)
Put a bucket over each seedling, they said. Put large burlap tarps over them, they shouted. Get some King sized cotton sheets and cover your gardens, they squealed. Well, first, I didn't have enough buckets to cover 29 seedlings of various shapes and sizes. I've never seen a burlap tarp in my life -- and -- since grain elevators in major metropolitan areas have largely disappeared, I don't know where I can find burlap sacks anymore. (Never mind -- I just found them both on Amazon. What CAN'T Jeff Bezos provide, that little Capitalist Devil?) As for King sized cotton sheets -- we just have Queen size and I wasn't about to go out and spend $80 on 1000 thread count Egyptian Cotton Sheets on a mere threat of frost.
Whatever you do, they said, don't cover your plants with plastic. But -- since that's all I had, that's what I did. The Master Gardener Lady from Minneapolis warned me that plastic sheets could ATTRACT the cold, but that doesn't seem to have been the case. At least, yet. Downtown got into the 30s, but the lowest we hit was 40, so it didn't seem to attract much of anything … other than bunnies. Tonight is supposed to be the coldest night of all. I'll check the temps tomorrow and pull everything off if I think I can get away with it.
The three gardens have been a challenge this season, with potential transfer shock, roots getting cramped in little Just Plant the Pots! pots, and, bunnies eating the heads off the sunflower shoots. There might also be a Too Much Fertilizer Problem in Nora, as this is her fourth season and I didn't want to see growth problems, so I may have gotten carried away. While the tomatoes and Acorn Squash seem to be doing well, the cucumbers at the north end appear to be dying (burning) out. I've got some spares in the greenhouse I can use to replant.
Here is one of the aforementioned bunnies. There are three of them hanging around the gardens, but as I said, other than the sunflower shoots, they appear to be leaving everything alone. Roscoe and Sadie are mad to catch one, going to the extreme of hunting in a pack like Velociraptors, but so far this season, they haven't caught one. Thank goodness, because you gotta know that nobody is cleaning it up other than Farmer Ted here.
Me, I'm Just Pondering Next Steps and the Question of Where I Left the Vodka.