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Q. During a frosty period in my coastal garden the leaves on the kale plants froze. I wondered whether I should still pick them. What is your opinion?
A. When normal light frosts that visit coastal gardens freeze kale leaves, wait until temperatures rise above freezing and the kale foliage returns to normal before picking. Letting the plants regain their normal processes will ensure a picking of kale that will deliver its usual, desirable texture and flavour.
The record-breaking cold temperatures earlier in the month will have wiped out kale plants in some gardens, especially if the plants were not provided with a fairly thick protective covering to insulate them. The survival rate of even hardy plants like kale, in that extreme cold for the coast, will also depend to some degree on the microclimate of your garden.
Q. Last spring I noticed a material labelled “insect netting” in catalogues and some garden outlets, along with the more familiar floating row cover fabric, which I use to cover my cabbage, broccoli and carrots to prevent insect pest infestations. Are these materials used in the same way to protect against insects?
A. Floating row cover (horticultural fleece, Remay) used as protection from insects is a gauze-like, extremely lightweight spun polyester fabric that is placed directly over seeded beds and plantings and anchored securely into the soil around the plantings to exclude insect pests while allowing free passage of air and water to the plants. It also gives some protection against cold temperatures.
Insect netting such as ProtekNetRead more on theprovince.com