Two Microclimates

by A.J. Coltrane

The nighttime temperatures dropped down to around 20F this week. There was no gradual decrease from warm, either. The evening temperatures went 40, 40, 40, 40, 20, 20, 20. There’s a marked difference in how the front yard plants have been handling the cold as compared to the back yard plants-

The front yard gets morning sun when it’s clear outside. It may also help that the sun reflects off of the house and onto the containers:

141116 romaine

The containers in the backyard get comparatively little sun. This romaine is still frosty around noon:

141116 romaine3

Front yard again:

141116 romaine2

Back yard (Pak Choi):

141116 pak choi


The back yard stuff is looking vaguely perkier today than it did at the time of these pictures, but still.. Next year (or even later this week) the back yard containers may need to be moved to a sunnier spot. If that means they get rained on, then that’s the way it’s going to need to go. “Zero” sun isn’t cutting it.

I came across this blog recently. OurHappyAcres. Written by a retired IT guy doing four-season organic gardening in southwestern Indiana — Zone 6b. The blog features lots of pictures, and he documents many different “tests”. In addition to the usual suspects he grows a lot of asian greens that I’m not super familiar with. I like his relatively methodical approach to gardening. That, and if something works for him then it should work in the maritime northwest.

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