Frosted Indigo

It was a risk to set out indigo so early here in northern Wisconsin, even under cloches. So far, it’s only a partial success, but I’m learning more about how much I can get away with where the growing season is so short.


All of the indigo growing in double buckets seemed OK after nighttime temperatures dipped to 30 degrees. Then it got even colder. 

They might have fared better if I had given them additional cover when the forecast was a low of 28 degrees. But the point of this experiment (besides extending the season) is to see how much I can get away with. So that night, we covered the asparagus and left the indigo to live or die under the cloches. The plants were definitely frosted. They might have recovered eventually, but today I replanted with the leggy seedlings I had indoors. This is still earlier than I’ve ever had indigo out.


The indigo in the recycled horse trough bed was also frosted, but two of the plants looked good enough for another experiment. I replanted some, but kept two of the frosted ones to see how they compare in a couple of weeks.

If what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, these frosted indigo plants might become very strong indeed.

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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin

2 thoughts on “Frosted Indigo”

    1. The biggest challenge isn’t the growing, it’s trying to save seeds in our short season. If I can here in northern Wisconsin, I think you should be able to! Good luck!

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