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Beware late frosts....


woolybanana
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For the next few day because it is Les Saints de Glace, a period , in folklore of late frosts which can ruin crops, especially if there has been a red moon.

My neighbour tells me to plant nothing until they are over, probably late next week. She even asked me to hold back the veggie seedlings I wanted to give her until then.

Decide for yourself if it is real or a myth. By the way, the French text is much better.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_Saints
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I had thought of leaving my frame open as it’s been partly open for a few nights now to start hardening plants off.

But with temps of 12-24C forecast for today. 5-17C tomorrow and 3-11C on Monday, it seems that these weeks of balmy weather here in Berkshire are to end.

So my frame will nearly close at night for a little while longer.
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Not a problem with that down here ! Our neighbour always prattles on about it, but as I always told him “I may be anglais, but I’m not completely stupid”.

Anyway, my cherry toms are now 1.2m high and have been outside since Monday - they were getting a bit too big to stay indoors.

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We're not doing any more planting until the end of next week, Meteo France only forecasts temperatures down to 2C but we know from past experience we need to subtract another 3C from that so -1C.

Some broad beans which were grown inside and hardened off each day have been in the ground for a week now and doing well. All the other plants will remain inside.

We had one night of frost earlier this week; some of the first leaves of our very old walnut trees have been blackened has have some leaves of small oak trees which have only been growing for a year or two.
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My min/ max thermometer has shown zero or colder almost every night for weeks and the odd thing had definitely been nipped by frost. So, I will follow the locals and not plant out until next week, after 13th at least.

But no toms or runner beans as the former make we weep and the latter I’ ve seeds left of!
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This sodding cold weather continues at night, with below zero temperatures again and again. My beloved dahlias are being cruelly clobbered.

And my little greenhouse is chock a block with little plants crying out to be planted

If this is climate change I am gonna give up gardening.
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I think that this cold snap should be about finished now or at worst this weekend.

We live on the coast and are fully aware of wind direction, and yesterday it was a westerly, not 'warm' but fine and pleasant for our Boris Walk.

We have had overnight frosts and needed our mid winter clothes for our walks a few days ago............. brrrrr....... bracing would be a bit of an understatement![:-))]

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Yes this weather is driving me barmy as well. I'm stuck in the uk due to the lock down and health reasons. So I've been doing my gardening from seed and cuttings. Because of the weather I am having to move a lot of the plants out of the greenhouse and then back in again when the weather cools. One night it was really cold and the tomatoes turned a blue colour, probably knocked them back a couple of weeks.Then on the other hand when the weather was good 2 weeks ago I got infested with greenfly, white fly aphids and strange little caterpillars. This next week I'm going to risk it and plant out. My biggest success is lettuce planted in a cat litter tray !!!
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I’ve been leaving the cold frame open for the last couple of nights as the chilly nights have gone. Everything seems to have flourished so far - growing quite a bit more than usual as we can’t be in the Gard this season as normal. There I grow salads on the balcony but I don’t risk them here - far too many slugs and snails run up from the wild area to feast.
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GG .........

It’s hell down here.

The asparagus is still going strong. The ‘fines vertes’ are as good as ever, but a bit pricier this year - up to the heady heights of €5 / kilo. That gives us enough for (say) four days of lunches.

The clementines from Spain have just finished. They’re a particular variety which combines sweetness and sharpness really well - hard to describe, but they’re very popular. The producer somehow manages to over-Winter and right up to this time, some of the previous season’s crop. The retailer told me that they had invested very heavily in the equipment.

Now its the cherries. The Burlat variety, which are almost black and are really nice. You mustn’t buy too many at a time, because (as with any fruit) they’ll go over if you don’t eat them within a day or two. The occasional Williams Pear, but they’re so hard to eat on the right day - a day or two too early and they’re like bullets. Too late and they’re ...... well, manky. If they’re just right, totally delicious.

It’ll be the peaches in a month or so, but (IMO) not before. When they’re ready, they’re really good.

But I’m telling you what you know full well already, aren’t I ?

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Rotten isn’t he!? Having me drooling is so mean! 😁

We do so miss it all, G, but we’ll have to be patient and wait for next spring.

We did have fine asparagus for lunch today, delivered by Mr Waitrose. Not as fine as we know it though, and £3 for 220g, on offer instead of £5.

We have a Waitrose delivery every Saturday - not quite like Uzès or St Quentin market, of course. But a tiny bit like it - unsure quite what we’ll buy at the market, we don’t know what exactly will be in our Waitrose delivery until their email arrives at about 08h. Today there was no fresh salmon, Maltesers or their own brand lemonade. Last week there were no frozen peas.

It will be extremely odd when we do finally go to the shops eventually.

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