I think this headline from the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang summarizes the latest weather weirdness rather well: "Washington's temperature leaps to record high of 74 degrees, less than a week after it was 10 degrees." The article goes on to state that we saw record-breaking February temperatures greater than 70F both in 2017 and 2018. And that's the main reason why I haven't ever used greenhouse plastic to protect my garden beds: our winters have been getting too hot. That wasn't what you expected me to say, was it? See, DC is zone 7, so it's expected that we'll see temperatures as low as 0F. To me, in response to climate change trends, it makes more sense to grow veggies that tolerate the occasional polar plunge than have to worry about venting a greenhouse on unseasonably warm February days.
This is not to say that my garden hasn't suffered from the cold:
Yes, I'm missing one of my row covers; alley cats ripped it to shreds. So I lost my rutabagas and arugula to the foot of snow. But other veggies beneath the cover are doing just fine.
They don't call it "Green in Snow" mustard for nothing! While the outermost leaves are a little damaged, the inner leaves are vibrant and green, so it will bounce back for more harvests as the days grow longer.
The Redbor kale and cilantro laugh off the cold weather. As with the mustard, the outer leaves of the lettuces are damaged, but the inner hearts are still going strong. Depending on the weather, I might be able to harvest a small salad next week.
My turnips have grown big and fat, unhindered by the cold weather. I'm looking for the perfect Valentine's Day turnip recipe (mm-hmmm!) to share next week, so stay tuned.