Old Man Winter Eats Broccoli

Monday, March 20, 2006
A sad sight at the garden on Saturday: The leaves of the two broccoli plants I set out a week ago were found limp, withered, and lifeless. They did not survive Old Man Winter's near-to-last gasp. And tomorrow, adding insult to injury, we are supposed to get snow showers.

Knowing that broccoli is a frost-tolerant plant (and given that it was in the 70s last weekend), I thought we were in the clear. But not so. While I was thinking that our last average frost date is April 15th, I did not think about the last average
freeze date. They are not one in the same, as Michael and I would learn from the pros at our favorite garden center. All the seed packets say to plant things in relation to the last spring frost date, so I began accordingly with our planting schedule, perhaps a bit too eagerly.

Lesson learned: Broccoli likes frost, but not of the heavy-duty variety.

Not to worry, though. Those two sacrificial broccoli plants have paved a safer path for the survival of three additional seedlings that remain huddled safely under the grow lights.

In other news, Michael planted more seeds (indoors!) yesterday. He's growing more tomatoes, poblano and jalapeno peppers, and four varieties of eggplant. He makes a wonderful eggplant frittata from The Silver Spoon cookbook. It has thin slices of eggplant nestled among layers of red bell peppers, scrambled eggs, parsley, and Parmesan and fontina cheeses. Mmmm.... (Broccoli? Who needs broccoli?)


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