Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Preparing for Frost

Sunday was a beautiful day with a distinct chill in the air. I checked the weather forecast and it said it would get to 35F. This was potential frost weather. I still had my peppers outside. They seemed happy enough. I'm not quite sure why. They get barely any sun anymore and it is so cold.

It was time to pull them up. I stripped off all the peppers on the plants. Well all except one plant. This is the plant that I caged to isolate so I could save its seed. One pepper was almost all red, a couple were just turning. The rest were still green. I had two choices. I could cover the plant and hope the peppers ripened before we were hit by a freeze or I could dig this one up. I chose the latter as it was a faster method of getting ripe seed.

I found a pot to fit. It wasn't a really large pot, but the plant only needs to live for a couple of more weeks. I'm glad it doesn't need to live there longer since my clay soil is a far cry from potting soil. The shock of getting the rest of its roots cut off ought to convince it to finish setting seed. I brought it inside and put it in the dinning room window. This spot is warmer and sunnier than its previous location. I hope it will be happy there for the next couple of weeks.

Then my husband wanted to know why I was growing a tree in the dining room. I'm not known for indoor plants. I find them too much work without my friendly beneficial insects that live outside.

Now the bed is even lonelier. All that is left are the carrots. Even if I think they look a tad lonely, I'm sure they are appreciating their breathing room.

The garden is mostly dirt right now. Last year I did a better job. I sowed a cover crop of oats and vetch. I have the seeds this year, but didn't get around to sowing them in time. I could do it now, but without any sun they won't grow much this year (that photo was taken at 1pm and only a tiny part of the garden is getting sun). I need to be better next year and at the beginning of September over seed the crops that are still growing. It gives the cover crops a nice boost.

And no we didn't get a frost on Sunday night. We have frost warnings out most of this week. The most likely time is mid week, maybe tomorrow. Or maybe my first frost will hold of until my normal time, which is the end of October.


  1. It's amazing how the light's angle changes over the seasons. I built the plot just clear of the house's shadow, but at this time of year, pff! the plot stands in full shade at the best time of day.

    Global warming works in mysterious ways. We've had record snowfall these last 2 years. They got record cold in western Canada a couple of days ago. I think my frost was early this year. I hope yours holds off for as long as it can.

  2. Predicting 34 here tonight, Daphne! Yikes!!! Still so much to do...

  3. Everything looks great. Have you done the hoops in the snow before? I'm wanting to do something similar next year. I'm just South of you and we got frost on Saturday and Sunday. My peppers are miraculously still looking halfway decent out there though.

  4. My entire veggie garden is bare now. I pulled everything up last weekend. I didn't sow a cover crop but wish I had. Maybe next year... in the meantime I'll be adding compost and leaves to the beds for the winter. -Jackie

  5. I know I wish I'd really paid attention and planted my winter vegetables in July. Thank goodness there's always next year.

    Enjoy your carefully-prepared pepper seeds!

  6. We got our light frost on Sunday night. My neighbor found it on the windshield of his car at 5am. Luckily, all of our veggies were under cover.

    I'm a bit worried about the remainder of this week though...I'm considering adding a layer of plastic on top of some of the row covers in garden. Also, is there a particular website that you like to refer to for frost warnings?

  7. I always forget that people get frost this early in the year!! It makes me appreciate how big and diverse this country is when I read about the dramatically different weather extremes we all have. What do you do with your garden all winter? Do any veggies grow or is it a wash until Spring? Would you like a couple of weeks of 90+ degree days?? Come on down to FL if blistering Fall heat sounds appealing - LOL!

  8. I will be interested to hear updates on the transplanted pepper plant and how it fares. My garden also goes into largely shaded conditions during the late fall and winter. If items are not grown to harvestable state by that point in time, then they really will not be unless they are hardy enough to overwinter successfully.

    Your garden looks ready for the coming cold season.

  9. Miss M, Well this morning I see frost on my neighbor's roof. I don't think it hit the garden. I'll find out later today if it did.

    our friend Ben, I'm glad I got the major things done. Now I have to think about what I want to cover.

    The Mom, I tried hoops last year,but only have the flimsy metal kind. They didn't hold up to our snow last year.

    Ellie Mae's Cottage, I'll be getting my compost on some of the beds too. Last year I tried to add compost in the spring and the compost pile did defrost. I could work the soil, but had no compost for my spring crops.

    Stefaneener, last year I got my fall crops in too late. It is so sad to see a broccoli floret start and you know it just won't make it before the first freeze.

    Thomas, there is no particular website I use. I often check all the major stations' websites and the national weather service. If I'm watching news I tend to watch NECN for the weather coverage.

    Kate and Crew, lol. I think early is September. My mom lives in the mountains of Colorado and September is not unusual. In fact I've seen snow in the mountains (though not at my mom's) during every month of the year, including July and August.

    kitsapFG, so far the pepper plant seems happy enough. I was afraid I'd have to cut some of the foliage back to keep it from drooping, but so far so good.

  10. I really need to get the last of my peppers harvested, I been a very lazy gardener the last few weeks. I'm in the same boat, low light and still no frost but it has been really cool at night. The tatsoi you sent is doing really well in this weather. It will be put in some noodle soup soon. It looks so nice right now, I should get a photo up of them next on the post and the chard too!

  11. Dan, well we just had our first frost last night. For some reason my one remaining bean plant is still alive.