Last weekend and into the early part of last week there was a freeze warning for our area. Of course the cabbage, beans, peas, and cucumbers had sprouted. So we had to try to protect the baby plants from the coming weather.
Luckily, we had straw on hand. We used the straw in the winter to lock the wind from getting underneath the coop, allowing the chickens a dry, relatively warm place to sit in the sun during the cold winter days. Now that the snow is gone the straw can be used for other things, like mulching new plants.
We lightly covered all the sprouts and left them covered for the four days the freeze warnings were in effect. After the freeze warnings cleared we uncovered the young plants to allow the sun to get to their tender leaves. Rather then removing the straw from the garden, we used it to to mulch around the plants to keep the soil damp as the new plants struggle to grow.
A quick tour of the garden just a few days later showed that our technique worked like a charm. The sprouts that were only a couple of centimeters high last week are several inches high now. Except the cucumbers, but they are slow growers so I am giving them some more time.
The potatoes have actually broken the surface of the soil and seem to be healthy. The peas and beans are reaching up to start their climb to the sky on our homemade trellises. The garlic tops are now 6 inches high. I've even seen some ragged little sprouts trying to grow in the chicken ravaged herb bed.
All in all it looks like it might be a good garden year.