The Big Freeze

We often have quite mild winters in Eugene. People complain when it gets below freezing, and many winters it never gets below 20F. So last week, when the morning temperatures approached the single digits and stayed there most of the week, winter gardeners suffered some losses. Taking stock after such an event can help us choose more wisely next year, so with that in mind, here are the winners and losers in my garden today, about a week after the Big Freeze.

Doing Well Damaged Gone
Arugula Swiss chard Artichokes
Leeks Radicchio Beets
Parsnips Carrots Old Broccoli
Kale (Siberian and Red Leaf) Celeriac Fennel
Cauliflower (Purple Cape for spring) Fava Beans Lettuce (four season, winter density)
Collards (Green Glaze) Cabbage (Savoy worse damage than Red)
Brussels sprouts
Parsley (flat leaf)
Garlic ( but something is eating it!?)
Onions (Golden Princess experiment)
Spinach (Winter Giant in pots)

The carrots should probably all be juiced today to salvage what is still good. There is still good flavor and texture at the tips, but the shoulders have the texture of sawdust and are not long for this world.

Celeriac is a new veggie for me to grow. The wonderful crisp texture of the root has turned flaccid. The plants still seem alive, but not as appetizing as before.

The dense red cabbages that were left in the garden seem to have fared quite well but much of  the Savoy heads have turned to mush.

The swiss chard was knocked down hard. It looks like some still have a core of life for the spring, however.

I had two varieties of young fava beans in the garden, Windsor broad bean and a small-bean cover crop. Both were severely damaged despite my efforts to protect the broad beans with a few leaves. It’s possible that some may regrow from the roots.

The spinach recovery this last week was quite a surprise, since it looked quite battered during the freeze.

Harvest a week after the big freeze

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