The ability of certain plants to withstand cold is pretty amazing. This past week we have had the coldest mornings so far this winter – 12°F Wednesday morning a half-hour before sunrise and 15° Friday morning at sunrise. Thursday felt just as cold, but we didn’t check the thermometer at sunrise. On Tuesday evening, it was already down to 20° by 9:30p so the temperature was way below freezing for over 12 hours Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
Most beds were under 2 layers of row cover (each layer affords about 4° of protection) and I watered the beds late into the night Tuesday; the valves on the driptape manifolds were freezing in position by the time I shut down the irrigation at 11p.
The spinach was one bed that had a single cover and I was worried all day at the market that I would see a freeze-damaged spinach crop when I got got back to the farm. But the spinach is just fine! The only evident damage was to the snow peas – many branches were killed by the cold, but most of the branches are fine and the plants should recover pretty quickly once it warms up. Everything else is fine. I’m thinking that the coldest weather is over now, but who knows??