the winter carnage

By: georgevandenberghe , 10:35 PM GMT on March 15, 2014

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I went out to the rental garden today after a six week absence. I did not expect much to happen but I also expected winter hardy things to survive.

Most didn't.

The brussels sprouts were severely damaged or killed. The damage looks recent suggesting that the coup-de-grace was the warm spell two weeks ago followed by snow and intense (teens) cold. It appears that the plants had lost some hardiness. Brussels sprouts under a winter blanket (spun fiber with a plastic film center) were less damaged and made more growth. These are usable and approximately golf ball size. Other brussels sprouts are the size of grapes and some are on stems that have collapsed or rotted through. I may get one decent serving from the lot.

Spinach and carrots were both killed in exposed places. Under cover, the spinach survived. I am surprised to see spinach winterkill here.

Will upload pictures later. Overall winter killed almost everything here this season. Will try again next winter.

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3. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
12:16 PM GMT on August 26, 2014
georgevandenberghe has created a new entry.
2. georgevandenberghe
11:20 PM GMT on March 15, 2014
I'm not upset. It's a new hardiness datapoint for me. I'll try again next year. Winter vegetable gardening is very iffy in the DC area anyway.

It appears that all of the hardy gardenias in my neighborhood have been killed. I grow both tender and hardy ones. Tender ones are hardy to about 25F. Hardy ones are hardy to about 10-15F. I took cuttings from a hardy one in a neighbor's yard and got four plants. Two overwintered in my garage with my citrus trees and two were left outside. The second two are dead. My two overwintered ones may be the only ones left alive in the entire neighborhood.

My 30 year old rosemary shrubs are also heavily damaged. Too soon to tell if they're terminal. My forcing hyacinths got caught Jan 2 while being chilled outside. The bulbs were killed.
Member Since: February 1, 2012 Posts: 18 Comments: 1832
1. DataPilot
11:02 PM GMT on March 15, 2014
I'm so sorry that you had so much of your garden killed this winter. Given the number of intensely cold days - coast to coast - I'm sure that you have plenty of company.

I'm in western Oregon, which is generally described as having a moderate, marine climate. Not so this winter. One night in December, our thermometer dropped to -12F and tied the 1972 record for the all-time coldest temperature. Records go back to 1892.

We decided to wait for warmish weather to arrive before determining which of our landscaping plants were truly goners. Now the tally is in. We lost five out of six of our broadleaf evergreen hedges (not sure what species), two hybrid tea rose bushes, a daphnia bush and a yucca plant. "Carnage" pretty much describes our situation, too.

On the bright side, I was planning to revamp the back yard this year. Now I don't have to agonize over which plants to dig up.
Member Since: January 5, 2009 Posts: 11 Comments: 1285

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About georgevandenberghe

meteorologist and avid veggie gardener