Monthly Archives: April 2013

Overnight Lows

Woohoo! We did not get nearly as cold last night as they were predicting! I saw lots of 32s and some 30s, although rumor has it that up in Reno County they got down to 27 in some places. One more cold night to get through tonight!

Strawberry Crunch Muffins

I am so glad it is the beginning of Strawberry season.  Strawberries are so fun and delicious.  They are low in calories and are an excellent source of vitamin C.  This week’s recipe features this berry delicious fruit in a nutritious whole grain muffin.  Your family will not even know that they are eating something so good for them!

Makes: 12 muffins

1 cup of fat free plain or vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup fat free milk

2 eggs

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup low fat granola

2 tablespoons wheat germ

2 tablespoons oat bran

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line muffin pan with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine yogurt, applesauce, milk and eggs; blend well.

In medium bowl, combine flours, brown sugar, granola, wheat germ, oat bran, baking soda and salt.  Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in strawberries.

Fill each muffin cup about three-fourths full.  Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown or until a wooden pick inserted into center come out clean.

Nutrition Information: 166 calories, 5 g protein, 34g carb, 3 g fiber, 2 g fat, 36 g chol, 108 pg folate, 2 mg iron, 459 sodium.

Freezing Temperatures & Frost Protection, Part 2

So, we are one day in to our wintry blast. So far the low has only been 30 degrees, which is not a big deal for most things. We also have a lovely coating of ice, which is breaking tree branches right and left. The forecast for tonight is for 26 degrees.

You can see that there’s ice everywhere, including on our garlic! You can see how the waxy leaves caused the water to run while it was freezing!

So, what do you do about ice on your vegetables? LEAVE IT ALONE! The ice is actually a small measure of protection at this point, and at any rate, you need to let things thaw normally. What about tonight? Do you cover things? It is up to you. Even if we get down to 26, you shouldn’t see much damage on things other than potatoes.

But what about fruit trees?

Iced CrabappleThis crabapple is still budding out, not yet in full bloom. For our fruiting apples and other trees, what should you do? First, no need to remove the ice. Again, it is providing some measure of protection, especially as long as it is still raining or drizzling.

The ice will probably melt this afternoon, as the temperatures get slightly warmer. So should you cover your fruit trees to protect the buds and blossoms?

First, you should look at this chart to determine what the damaging temperature would be for the stage of bloom your tree is in and determine how much damage there is likely to be: Critical Temps for Fruit Trees. If you are only looking at 10% damage or a little more, I wouldn’t bother covering your trees.

If you are looking at a significant amount of damage, you could cover your trees, if you have the means to do so. HOWEVER, they are also forecasting 12 mph wind with gusts up to 20 mph. Most likely, the wind will cause your pockets of warm air to blow away, so covering won’t get you much. I know, I’m a bastion of cheery news today, aren’t I?

Looking at the conditions, I would guess that this wintry blast is going to cause some percentage of damage to our fruit crop this year, but probably not a complete loss. But then, it looks like we’re going to get another chance next week too!


Freezing Temperatures and Frost Protection

After a few days of beautiful spring weather, it looks like we are expecting one more wintry-ish round of weather. I’m seeing predicted lows of 33, 29, and 30 for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights respectively. Because it has been a fairly cold (and getting later) spring, there isn’t a whole lot that needs protection. Most of your cool season garden vegetables shouldn’t have any trouble tolerating those temperatures unless they have just been transplanted outside. Most fruit trees (with the possible exception of apricots and some peaches, perhaps) are not in full bloom yet. I suppose they might be with two more days of warm weather.

If you have some blooming plants or vegetables that you want or need to protect from freezing temperatures, here is a great article from The Garden Professors blog about how to do that effectively (and why it works): Protecting Plants from Frost.

Friday PhotoEssay

This is going to be a quick edition, cause it’s late on Friday afternoon and I’ve got things to do!

Some of the herbs that I thought were dead dead dead are actually coming back. This oregano still needs a little cleaning (oak leaves, anyone?), but it is looking healthy!

The curly parsley is well on its way to a second growing season after surviving the winter. If we let it keep growing, it should go to seed at some point this summer.

The radishes are finally coming up! I think the cold slowed them down some. No sign of parsnips yet, but that’s not a surprise.

We have true leaves! A few of the peppers and eggplant are still dawdling about germinating, but the tomatoes are moving on to the next set of leaves.

Some gorgeous lettuce transplants that are all ready for our first Saturday Sampler tomorrow! (Yes, I’m going to transplant some of them without having hardened them off at all. Oops.)

Have a great weekend! Tomorrow you can come on out and enjoy Tree Fest from 8 am to 1 pm, the Kansas Grown! Farmers’ Market from 7 am to noon, and the first Saturday Sampler on salad greens from 9 to 10 am!