Sunday, December 15, 2013

Quotable Sunday 12/15/2013

A Snow Event!

We live in Oregon, where the old standard joke is: " it rains nine months of the year there!"  Not quite true but some seasons it does feel like that.  We don't get regular snow like many growers so we designed our hoophouse system to protect for the rain with a bit of protection on the beds in the form of Agribon frost blankets.  Every few years we do get an EVENT that makes us all go crazy for fear of snow, driving in snow, freezing temperatures, round the clock newscasts and frozen pipes.  We don't usually get too worked up by the EVENT except for heavy wet snow collapsing our hoophouses and the freezing temperatures for our baby flower plants that went in to the ground in October. This year was an EVENT for us!
We had a snow event which really wasn't too bad, about 6 inches of snow fell. It wasn't the heavy wet variety either and so it wasn't a great deal to remove from the hoophouses.  But the temperatures were really cold and we didn't want the snow frozen on to the plastic.
Dressed in a multitude of layers and armed with a rope pulley system of snow removal plus squeegees, we set out to remove the snow.  In the distance we could hear the neighbor kids having a blast playing in the snow while we worked removing it and all the while it kept snowing.
In my case, I was pulling more snow down on me but I was at least warm but needed ski goggles.  The rope pulley system didn't work and we will need to come up with something for next time.  When we build a couple more hoophouses we will need to be faster with removal.
The squeegee ended up working best but we need a bigger head on the end of our telescoping poles.

Finally everything was cleaned of the snow, we checked all the baby plants to see that they were covered.
                                                           Anemones wrapped up in a couple of blankets.
                                               Ranunculus under a couple of blankets.
We settled in for about 10 days of very very cold temperatures. Nights were in the single digits, one close to zero, the days temperatures in the teens.  We have never tried to grow anemones and ranunculus at these cold of temperatures.  The blankets were buying us a few degrees but we were hoping that the ground in the hoophouses was dry and wouldn't freeze up and killed the babies.  We couldn't remove the blankets to let the light in and so we waited and waited, afraid to look and see the damage.
                      The sun would try and shine and things tried to thaw but mostly just froze up.
Finally the sun came out and the rain came and everything started to melt away. The covers on the beds could be removed and the damage assessed.
Anemones came through like troopers although those ten days will delay them.  So hoping for nicer January temperatures to speed these babies up for blooms on Valentine's Day. Fingers crossed!!
Ranunculus looks a little more ragged but still alive. Some of the outer leaves may be damaged but the crowns still look good. Yay!
The snapdragons and the glads took a beating.  But they were just tests to see if we could get late glads and early snaps.  More snaps are growing in the greenhouse.
                              One busted outdoor pipe, oops forgot that one when winterizing.
   A little snow remained along side the hoophouses for a day or so and then the EVENT was over.  Just hoping that is the last EVENT for this next growing season.  Probably not so but it is nice to think positive thoughts. 

There's one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbor's.  ~Clyde Moore

1 comment:

  1. Yes, hoping that was the last of the snow. Love the picture of the frozen spider webs.


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