We talk a ton about the cold hardiness of plants around here. We’ve long felt it’s one of the most vital things to understand when growing in an extreme cold climate. It’s one thing to hear or read something, another to see it.
We’ve now clocked in multiple sub-freezing nights since our first frost last week. We saw 27F this morning. Brisk and cold enough to outright wipe out some of our plants and put ice on our windshield that we had to scrape off. Yet, some of our plants are still standing. That’s cold hardiness at work!
We’ve long loved growing in colder climates and feel it’s way better than the trials and tribulations of growing over the summer in warmer climates. While we’d likely prefer not to do the “nosedive” into extremely cold temperatures like we see here in Fairbanks, we still try to take advantage of those days where we’re just flirting with around freezing temperatures. Folks that are growing in “less edgy” cold climates often have some serious longer range growing advantages with cold climate crops.
A lot of growers don’t realize that the overwhelming majority of common garden plants are cold hardy. A solid 50%+ of plants most gardeners would consider growing in their garden feature pretty good degrees of cold hardiness. I was chatting with a gardener the other day who lamented she could only grow carrots over the winter, since her winter lows were 34F. Those kinds of low temperatures literally open the gates to year round growing if you know how to work the cold tolerance of various plants!
The truth is around here that we don’t have much time left. We’re looking like we’re getting snowfall and low 20’s by next week, so our focus is heavily placed on getting everything out and enjoying what we have while it’s still around!