The weatherman was not my friend over the weekend. Our average low for this time of year is about 29F. Enough for the nights to freeze, but to have everything defrost in the sunlight. Fall crops grow well if protected from the freeze-thaw cycle with row covers. However we had been experiencing lows that were about 10F above that. We even had one day where the low was 50F. Things grow fabulously in this weather.
I was thinking I would have fresh lettuce on Thanksgiving. Then the weatherman said the weather pattern was changing. Cold was coming in. We might even have a low in the teens this week. Ack! This is 10F below average and too cold to keep things alive even with the row covers. I'd need a good cold frame to keep my plants growing in this weather. The ground could freeze solid for the year if the weather pattern doesn't break.
So Sunday I went out and harvested the root vegetables: carrots and leeks. I wanted them out of the soil before a total freeze over. Some of the carrots were huge, 1 1/2" in diameter at the top. There were also a lot of deformed ones. I'm guessing nementodes. I perpared the bed exceedly well. I didn't even need a shovel to dig them out. Just pull the tops and out they come. The leeks had both the small and the large. The largest was about 1" in diameter; the smallest was about pencil sized.
Today at noon I decided to go out and pick whatever elese might be ready. The sun doesn't hit the garden until about 1pm so nothing was defrosted. Moisture had condensed on the underside fo the plastic row cover during the previous day. Overnight it had frozen. So as I pulled the cover off, shards of ice flaked off.
The bunching onions were half frozen as was the bok choi. I picked them anyway. I hope they weren't frozen too much to defrost well. The lettuce seemed remarkable unfrozen. I picked most of it. I don't need it yet. I still haven't finished what I picked last week, but with lows in the mid to low 20s and highs in the mid 30s, they won't last very long. I left five plants just in case they survive the cold snap.
Everything else I left. Unless the weather changes back to warm weather, this was probably my last harvest in the garden. No more excitement until the seed catalogs arrive. I can't wait. And speaking of seeds, I have way too many parsly and dill seeds. More than I'll need for next year. If anyone wants some, email me. I'd be happy to ship some out.