Memo to Spring, Please Turn Off the Snow

As forecasted, we in the southwestern Virginia mountains have had two nights of hard freeze and  in between a full day of snow squalls. Upon reading several predictions that the fruit crops on the east coast above the Carolinas would be lost this year, we swung into high gear.

Our blueberries became my highest priority. Our two largest blueberry bushes are closer to trees at six feet tall. These beauties produce enough for us to eat them fresh for weeks during the summer, can a decent sized batch of blueberry jam and freeze the rest for plenty of muffins throughout the whole year. There is nothing quite so satisfying as using our own plump organic berries to make breakfast muffins mid-winter.

I am amazed that Cog has built this barn essentially alone. The scaffolding he built was needed for additional support with the height and constant winds.
I am amazed that Cog is building this barn essentially alone. The scaffolding he built was needed for additional support with the height and constant winds.

Climbing down from his scaffolding, the Michelangelo of barn design (Cog) knew just what to do for the berries . We constructed a wood tent frame for the large blueberry bushes and covered it with heavy plastic. The posts were driven into the ground far enough to sustain the 25mph+ winds we expected.

The blueberry tent.
The blueberry tent.

Next we covered the kale, strawberries and strongest lilac bushes. The strawberries would have survived but they had already begun their Spring happy time and I wanted to encourage an early bloom.

spring snow 4

There was nothing we could do to protect the apple buds which had not yet opened into blossoms, but were seriously considering it prior to the cold snap (shown at the top of this article). The peach blossoms had been lost in last week's freeze.

The peach blossoms looked very sad after last week's frost. Perhaps I will be wrong and they will be able to fruit this summer after all.
The peach blossoms looked very sad after last week's frost. Perhaps I will be wrong and they will be able to fruit this summer after all.

Our new grape plants are still young enough to each be covered by a 5 gallon bucket.  We weighted them down with blocks to withstand the high winds.

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The grapes were well cocooned within their buckets for the freeze.

After all was said and done, it appears we were successful. All we had covered appeared to withstand the bitter cold and high winds. It was a bit of work both to set up and dismantle, but well worth the drill.

Let us hope snow has run its course for the season and we can get back to our tillers in short order. :-)

The blueberry patch is happily uncovered and ready to get on with the business of "bloob-ing" for the season.
The blueberry patch is happily uncovered and ready to get on with the business of "bloob-ing" for the season.
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