Winter in November has meant that I have become some experience richer and a lot of salad poorer. The salad, which was sown in August and planted in manure benches in September, should, if the weather had wanted, be able to stay ready for harvest for several months. But the weather just hasn’t wanted to. The plants survived well enough without damage the first few frosty nights down to -4 ° with the help of a few layers of non-woven fabric and sprinkling of the frozen leaves before the sun broke through - but many days of persistent frost in round-the-clock operation has just been too much! And that even though the 2 layers of non-woven fabric have been supplemented with a tarpaulin laid over the manure bench. I kind of knew that in theory, but I have never before tested the limits so thoroughly in November.
Although frostbite has been widespread, there are still a few informative differences. The lettuce plants fill 2 manure benches - sown at the same time, but not planted out at the same time. There have probably been a few weeks in between. Here it is the most recently planted (and therefore least developed heads) that have coped with the frost best. In addition, 2 different varieties with different growth forms have been planted in both benches: Winter Density and Winter Gem. The former is a romaine type with a more open growth, and here most leaves are clearly marked by the frost. Winter Gem, on the other hand, forms a small compact head, and when you remove the outer frost-damaged leaves, there is a lot left further inside which is still fine, fresh and unaffected.