I dreamt that all of my plants froze into the soil, and then each block of frozen soil was lifted up, dropped and shattered onto the ground like glass. It made a huge mess! So dirty!
I probably had this nightmare because it's been so cold and windy here in Brooklyn, NY this week. The last few nights have dropped down to the 40s and I'm very worried that my plants could freeze, especially the new Brandywine tomatoes I recently transplanted. As I'm sure you've figured out by now, the Brandywines are my pride and joy. I guess you could say they are my "favorite child", much like my sister is with my parents.
I used The Old Farmer's Almanac to predict temperatures for planting. The book has been published each year since 1792, listing weather forecasts, tide charts, planting guides, and astronomical charts for the upcoming year. It was originally just called The Farmers Almanac, and the "Old" was added in 1832 by some keen marketing chap who was no doubt wearing a waistcoat at the time. Old things feel more respectable! I honestly think it's the "old" that sold me on it.
It's imperative to the survival and production of your plants that they are planted at exactly the right time. Plant them too early in the year and the cold weather could kill them or stunt their growth. Plant them too late and the Fall cold will kill the plant too soon after it's begun producing and shorten your harvest.
I based my planting dates entirely on The Almanac's frost charts, moon charts and weather forecasts. So was it right? The Almanac said that Brooklyn would be frost-free after April 1st, and so far that's been true. The Almanac also said "A cold, wet May means a barn full of hay", but so far, I have seen no barn or hay appearing in my yard.
But these last few days have come pretty close to frost temps. I keep hovering over my Brandywines, looking for signs of frost and apologizing for not keeping them indoors for one more week. I even watered them with warm water yesterday. Is that a real thing that works? Who knows. It seemed right at the time.
The Almanac has always had a hole drilled in the corner so it could hang on a nail in the garden. Apparently people took to hanging it in their outhouses, and used the pages containing forecasts for days past as toilet paper. Obviously, this is what I do as well, so I won't be tempted to go back and read old forecasts and worry about their accuracy. I must have total faith in The Almanac's wisdom... right?