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Resilience: An Accidental Experiment

Everything I've read says that seedlings in pots are much more vulnerable to low temperatures than plants in the ground. Then how does one explain this?

These neglected lettuce seedlings are fully hardened off and still going strong. They have been forgotten unprotected outside for months, survived a cold spell of snow and temps hovering between -8 and -2 degrees Celsius and even blew around in the latest storm with winds reaching 60km/hour . They would have been frozen solid for a week. Though they got a bit dried out by the wind, they are looking remarkably healthy. The foliage of the unprotected lettuce in the ground, however, is shriveled and brown. These cold hardy lettuce varieties pictured are one heirloom (Grand Rapids) and one hybrid (Larissa butterhead). Tomorrow I will give them a home in one of my winterized beds.

I am wondering in what ways they may fare better and/or worse than the lettuces that have been covered/protected? I have some theories, but this will be a true experiment.


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