Sometimes the weather is on your side, sometimes it is not. I test-planted out some of the Nicotiana, marigold and tomato plants last week to after having checked the temperatures for the next few weeks. It was a gamble. We are still a few weeks away from more stable weather, but rolling the dice would is fun. The day after my planting I knew it was going to rain and that is such a blessing: Newly replanted seedlings love getting watered in their new spot as it helps them get settled in. Off to a terrific start indeed.
But, weather prediction and meteorology, as it turns out, is not an exact science. I am a control freak and when I and my buddies were growing tobacco on balconies we had so much control over the environment our plants were growing in – really taming the control freaky side inside me. Out on a deck where weather and wind conditions cant be so exactly controlled things happens. Sometimes those things are not in your favor.
One day there was a sudden cold snap and snow, followed by a colder-than-usual night with a temperature creeping down to 3-4C (37-39F). The temperature itself is still something the nicotiana should survive, but the snow paired with a rainy day a couple of days before? Yikes. Even my religious online weather checking didn’t help with that one. There were things I could do to make the situation better for the grow beds, precautions I could have taken. Instead, I got a learning experience: What happens to nicotiana plants that gets a sudden cold snap?
Surprisingly mixed results. When I assessed the situation, it was quite easy to spot the poor plants that got done in by the sudden snow and it was fascinating to see some leaves on some of the plants that just gave up, meanwhile, the rest of the plant seemed to only shrug it off like it was nothing (and growing harder from the experience!).
Many of the leaves and plants look like they got the wind taken out of them and withered away as they turned from bright green to a weak, pale mess. Some of them got hit so hard that they became see-through. Freaky.
But, thankfully, it seems like 90% of the plants survived! Beautiful resilience on display. The next week or so will give me a better look at if this was just the way things look right now or not. Now we are hoping for better temperatures, more sun, lots of growth and
that the sudden snow-attack didn’t do too much to the poor plants 🤞
The beans and tomatoes plants need to replaced though, new ones need to be replanted to replace the ones that got wrecked in the sudden cold. Luckily I have a made it a habit to plant way more seeds than necessary just for situations like this (and excess plants can get used in guerrilla gardening or given away to neighbors, so its never a waste really).