Death and Destruction

Kind of a sucky gardening day. I don't think that I should need my winter coat and gloves to fertilize fruit trees in April. I don't think there should be a windchill of 29 degrees in April. And I definitely don't think there should be 35 mph wind gusts in April:

That's the destruction: yet another fence section bit the dust in the wind. So instead of building our last cold frame, Kirk is spending a cold afternoon working on rebuilding the fence section. Not cheap, either. The only bright side is that we can salvage the scrap from the old one for our new potato boxes. But still ... damn.

Oh, and here's the death:

These are (were, in the case of all but three plants) our broccoli and cabbage seedlings. I've been hardening them off over the past two weeks, but this week was really too hard, I guess. They started out pretty spindly (especially the broccoli), most likely due to a two or three week stretch of cloudy days after they first sprouted. They were doing alright outside for the first week, but this week I didn't realize the wind was going to be so brutal this week. This happened last year, too, but these seedlings never recovered — it didn't help that two days later they were in a cold frame to get sun in a sheltered place, but the cold frame wasn't vented and it got really warm. It's also dry as a bone — our indoor humidity reading is a Saharan-esque 24 percent right now. That was a one-two-three punch that killed most of them.

So for two years in a row, this hasn't gone well. We've had no trouble (so far) with onions or leeks or tomatoes or peppers or flowers, so I'm starting to think that broccoli and cabbage are just kind of difficult. I'm also thinking that if the seeds we direct-sow tomorrow do okay, I'll never again bother with starting these cole crops indoors. 

But still ... grr.


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