Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 2/3/14

In my last post, I shared pictures of my homestead during Winter Storm Leon. Today, I’m sharing photos of my garden during the storm, as well as a few pictures of the aftermath. Ice covered everything for three days. That’s a record for the Charleston, SC area – at least, since I moved here 19 years ago. I basically gave up all hope of having any kind of harvest this winter crop; between the cold that delayed germination until just before the storm (and that’s if anything germinated at all) and the ice storm itself, I was in despair. However, I was surprised at what survived and what was damaged or lost.

THE MORNING AFTER WINTER STORM LEON:

Here are the icy pictures of my garden as soon as the ice and snow stopped.

My side beds after Winter Storm Leon

My side beds after Winter Storm Leon

Red clover cover crop covered in ice from Winter Storm Leon

Red clover cover crop covered in ice from Winter Storm Leon

Garlic dressed in snow from Winter Storm Leon

Garlic dressed in snow from Winter Storm Leon

Frozen curly parsley after Winter Storm Leon

Frozen curly parsley after Winter Storm Leon

Icy rosemary after Winter Storm Leon

Icy rosemary after Winter Storm Leon

Crepe myrtle tree covered in ice from Winter Storm Leon

Crepe myrtle tree covered in ice from Winter Storm Leon

My apple and fig trees were all covered in ice; here’s my fig tree.

Icy Celeste fig tree with mini icicles after Winter Storm Leon

Icy Celeste fig tree with mini icicles after Winter Storm Leon

My tulips sported drippy icicles. Here are pictures of three different tulips.

Tulip 1 and its drippy icicle from Winter Storm Leon

Tulip 1 and its drippy icicles from Winter Storm Leon

Tulip 2 and its drippy icicles from Winter Storm Leon

Tulip 2 and its drippy icicles from Winter Storm Leon

Tulip 3 with its drippy icicles from Winter Storm Leon

THE AFTERMATH OF WINTER STORM LEON:

The ice melted Friday, and we got rain on Saturday. So I didn’t get to check out the aftermath in my garden until yesterday. I was quite surprised – and was given some hope. My garlic is fine, though I knew it would be. And I had no worries about my cover crop; clover is pretty hardy. What surprised me is that most of my seedlings seem to have survived! I think they were so small, they were able to tough it out. Maybe I should be grateful for the late germination. I may get a small winter harvest yet – at least of purple top turnips, spinach, and radishes (the only seedlings I have thus far).

Spinach seedling survived Winter Storm Leon

Spinach seedling survived Winter Storm Leon

Radish seedling survived Winter Storm Leon

Radish seedling survived Winter Storm Leon

My rosemary, parsley, and oregano look like they’ll be okay, too. The oregano looks a little rough, but it’s still alive.

Oregano survived Winter Storm Leon

Oregano survived Winter Storm Leon

Curly parsley survived Winter Storm Leon

Curly parsley survived Winter Storm Leon

I thought my trees escaped the storm unscathed, but that isn’t the case. My new apple trees are fine, but my Celeste fig tree has two large breaks in the crook of two branches. Thankfully, they’re both on the large limb that has to be pruned the end of this month due to it pulling the tree to the side (the tree is lopsided). Unfortunately, one of the breaks cuts into the collar of the limb I need to prune. I think I may need to call my local cooperative extension to ask how to prune that limb with the break.

Ice from Winter Storm Leon cut into the collar of a main branch of my Celeste fig

Ice from Winter Storm Leon cut into the collar of a main branch of my Celeste fig

Ice from Winter Storm Leon causes a 2nd break on my Celeste fig, further up the limb with the first break

Ice from Winter Storm Leon caused a 2nd break on my Celeste fig, further up the limb with the first break

LOOKING FORWARD:

This coming Friday, I’ll be starting my spring seedlings in my grow room (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash) and planting my potatoes outside. Today, I opened my bag of potatoes and saw lots of beautiful eyes. I left the fingerling potatoes whole, but I cut the purple and red potatoes (with at least one eye per piece). I put them in a covered box to continue growing eyes and to heal.

Purple and red potatoes, cut and healing, getting ready for planting

Purple and red potatoes, cut and healing, getting ready for planting

It’s been an interesting week, for sure. The wild thing is that after all that ice, yesterday was 71 degrees. Crazy, huh? Welcome to my world in Charleston, SC!

How are things on your homestead? Did you survive Winter Storm Leon?

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