Posted in Plants, Progress, Seeds

Frantic defenses against frost…

We knew the expected frost date was bearing down on us, but some things just aren’t done growing yet that we want to harvest.  As I write this, it’s 43°F, and it’s expected to drop down to 36° in the wee hours before dawn.  Tomorrow night won’t be much better, with the expected low a tad warmer, but still low forties.  We’ve hit nearer to mid forties already in the last week.  By the weekend, day temperatures are predicted to go up enough that we’ll be hitting low 80s during the day.  So now we’re on a night temperature watch for our remaining crops.

The spring rains and our schedule this year meant a lot of things went into the ground later than we’d hoped (though by far, not nearly as bad as last year, since we had started several seed types indoors to mixed success.)

Right now, we have two butternut squash and a jack o’ lantern pumpkin that still need some time to grow.  We’re not worried about the below ground crops or the broccoli that still hasn’t made anything but leaves, but the beans and few peas that are still producing…we don’t have the means to protect what’s on trellis.  We are sort of losing all hope of seeing any ears of corn this year, despite having much more success with germination.  So the best we can do for those right now is keep our fingers crossed.

What we did for the squash and pumpkin was pile on some leaves for insulation, and top the leaves with a basket/bin/bucket to keep them in place.  Come morning, I’ll take those off to let the sun reach them more directly.  We’ll likely do this again for any night predicted low 40°s F or below until they’re ready to harvest.  Hopefully before it gets true fall cold!

Later today, we’ll see how the beans and peas fared.  I also need to finally collect the latest batch of potato seeds (yes, seeds!), and soon we’ll start pulling more carrots and finally start harvesting potatoes and onions.  Then it’ll be on to collecting and in some cases winter covering herbs and so on, as we swing into fall garden mode.

Speaking of which, I’m still so excited about how the lavender bounced back this year after I failed to cover it or the rosemary last fall.  The rosemary never had a chance.  We have new rosemary (two variants, one the same as last year) we bought to replace the loss, and I will not be making last year’s omission because I don’t want to buy starters again.  *chuckle*

Related to later than we would have liked starting again…given the success we had with the quick and dirty cold frames this year, we will be doing that again next year, only earlier and more.  Hopefully that will get us off on better footing for the year overall.

I hope folks that have frost on their minds are having success protecting what still needs a bit more time to grow.

Care to share thoughts on this?