tysonp
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Frozen seeds

I recently built some cold frames here in central oregon. It was during a decently warm week in Feb, so I planted out some seeds that should do ok in cold weather, arugla, spinach, etc...

Shortly after - a severe cold streak has set in, and its been pretty frozen out there for at least 2 weeks. My question is, will the seeds eventually germinate and start growing, or would this cold weather pretty much kill them - and I should just re-seed the next warm spell?

The Helpful Gardener
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Hard to kill those crucifer crops with cold; there would be some mortality, but the majority should be good. See what develops, and hey, start a new crop toreseed the blanks; you can always gift your friends and family with any extras...

HG

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

In short.... YES.

You may want to sow some Fava Beans into your garden area now as well. This spring while you are planting everything else, you will be able to harvest nice buttery beans and the plants will assist Nitrogen fixing bacteria to fix nitrogen.

tysonp
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Thanks for the responses

It took a while - but some of the stuff I planted (most likely a mesculin greens mix and arugula) are sprouting. I'm guessing everything is going to be fine if I just wait out the cold wether. it is now barely getting below freezing at night - and that should last a bit.

I have also planted a number of overwintering crops, including some green manure crops. I planted garlic, fava beans, and manure mix I bought from a seed company that included a bunch of stuff. I did the same last year - and they overwintered ok, but didn't start growing again until it got good and warm in april/may.

I planted some corn maiche (sp?) under the frames today, and am about to try purslane, sorrel, dandelion, kale, and some other stuff under some plastic this week.

We'll see how it goes. I'm sure we'll get another snow storm in the next w weeks.

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Wow, you might be jumping the gun a bit Tyson.

The problem with planting seeds that are not meant to be planted in winter is that with a warm spell, the seedlings may come up but, with the return of the cold, the seedlings will probably die.

The brassicas should be fine but, Corn (if it is Corn and not a corn salad mix that you have planted) will most likely rot as corn likes really warm soil to germinate.

I know that it is tempting to dive into the garden and start planting everywhere (I've done it myself) but, the best thing that you can do for your plants now, work some good mulch into your soil, keep your compost going and start your lettuces, and what not indoors.

For cover crops:

Buckwheat:
not frost hardy
Very quick and easy to turn in. Smothers weeds. Flowers attract beneficial insects

Crimson Clover:
hardy to zone 6 (-12C 10F)
Fixes Nitrogen. Annual so won't become weedy Good for winter cover, plant late summer (8-10 weeks before first frost)

Fava Beans:
Hardy to zone 8, try in zone 7
Fixes Nitrogen. Plant in October on the Coast. Plant in early spring elsewhere.

Fall Rye:
Hardy to zone 3
Lots of organic matter, can be planted to 4 weeks before frost. Excellant Nitrogen Scavenger

Hairy Vetch:
Hardy to zone 4
Fixes Nitrogen. Slow growing in Fall, therefore plant with Rye and Oats. A lot of growth in spring. Quick to grow, great for bees. Sow early spring to summer.


That should be enough to keep you going for a while.

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Wow, you might be jumping the gun a bit Tyson.

The problem with planting seeds that are not meant to be planted in winter is that with a warm spell, the seedlings may come up but, with the return of the cold, the seedlings will probably die.

The brassicas should be fine but, Corn (if it is Corn and not a corn salad mix that you have planted) will most likely rot as corn likes really warm soil to germinate.

I know that it is tempting to dive into the garden and start planting everywhere (I've done it myself) but, the best thing that you can do for your plants now, work some good mulch into your soil, keep your compost going and start your lettuces, and what not indoors.

For cover crops:

Buckwheat:
not frost hardy
Very quick and easy to turn in. Smothers weeds. Flowers attract beneficial insects

Crimson Clover:
hardy to zone 6 (-12C 10F)
Fixes Nitrogen. Annual so won't become weedy Good for winter cover, plant late summer (8-10 weeks before first frost)

Fava Beans:
Hardy to zone 8, try in zone 7
Fixes Nitrogen. Plant in October on the Coast. Plant in early spring elsewhere.

Fall Rye:
Hardy to zone 3
Lots of organic matter, can be planted to 4 weeks before frost. Excellant Nitrogen Scavenger

Hairy Vetch:
Hardy to zone 4
Fixes Nitrogen. Slow growing in Fall, therefore plant with Rye and Oats. A lot of growth in spring. Quick to grow, great for bees. Sow early spring to summer.


That should be enough to keep you going for a while.

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