Spring Surprise

Seeing the crocus appear as well as a narcissus next to a south facing wall were not the most unexpected occurrences in my yard the first week of February. They have bloomed this early some other years. What surprises me is this:

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I’ve got a strawberry beginning to turn red. May is when strawberries typically ripen here. As I posted some weeks back, I set up this simplest of cold frames to see if I could extend the harvest for when my grandson visits. I picked one the day after Christmas and I may be able to have a few on Valentines day.

We had only two days in January with low temperatures under 20 F (-6.6 C). I added a blanket over the glass those nights. Recently I have been more concerned about overheating, so I moved the bricks to allow plenty of air flow.

This little project to keep my grandson interested in the garden has led to some questions. How much can be done with passive solar? On a larger scale would a plastic hoop cover be a way to extend fresh local strawberry harvest? But soon I need to stop dreaming and get some seeds into starter trays.

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