January has been a month of extremes in the Carolinas (and beyond). We've had the (normally usual for February) days in the upper 60's that remind me why it's so great to live in the Southeastern U.S., but more significantly, we've also experienced deep freeze temperatures in the teens and below.
It hasn't been so COLD in decades.
We visited last weekend with a naturalist/artist couple who've lived outside of Bryson City, NC since the 70's -- this has been the second coldest winter that they remember. Telling.
Maybe some of the benefits will be reduced pest populations (introduced and native). It would be lovely if the hemlock wooly adelgids are slowed down, not to mention the emerald ash borer.
And I'm mindful, too, that this is the first year that I remember as a year-round vegetable gardener that I'll be doing totally new change-outs TWICE. Hmm.
First, summer was so wet and cool, disease issues with tomatoes, etc. were huge, so fall green sowings were in clean beds. The fall sowings are all now "toast"- even the mache (corn salad) and creasy creens --normally capable of freezing solid and coming back. Not this year with temperatures below 10°F for days.
So it'll be a new season again. But that's what gardening is about, too. There's always hope for the next season!
And we're still eating tomatoes from last summer's harvest, even it was skimpy. That's a good thing.