At last! Spring has arrived! After some surprising cold snaps, the sun is shining and I feel confident that there will be no more days below 40 degrees. It's time to share how my plants fared in the cold and what methods worked the best to protect or salvage the cold-sensitive basil and moringa from the hard freeze.
How did the branch clipping that we tried to propagate in the house do?
It has started to grow some leaves!
There was an empty hole waiting for it where one of the moringa died a couple years ago. Check my next blog for the details of how I planted it and how it does in the ground.
How did the moringa in the streetside basin do? After the deep freeze, the leaves and the branches of the trees outside died as expected. But the thick trunks were still green for the first time ever! I waited until I was sure that it wouldn't freeze again before taking off the plastic bags, insulated piping and postal bags.
Under the insulated piping I found new growth!
But what happened with the basil experiment? After getting a variety of ideas on what to do with my basil before the freeze, I decided to try out a few of the suggestions.
I planted three basil plants in a hanging pot using the soil that they were grown in. I watered them with rainwater from our cistern. I kept them in the house during the cold nights and put them in the sun on warm days. They have some new leaves forming! Success!
Onto the next method... I put some of the healthy basil in a gardening cage. On cold nights I covered that with an old drape and a table cloth. I uncovered it when it was warm outside. I also left some uncovered to see how they would do.
But many days of cold (and some harvesting) eventually took it's toll on the uncovered basil. The lucky ones went to seed. The basil in the cage grew too big and eventually went to seed as well.
All in all it was a successful experiment. I sure learned a lot and got to eat a lot of pesto! So I'm good. I'm looking forward to more new growth in the spring!