If you’re north of the invisible line dividing our country, you’ve probably already had frost and even a hard freeze.
Here in zone 7 we usually enjoy a longer season.
When we lived closer to the water years ago, it was not unusual to be picking tomatoes in mid December. Then we moved to our current residence 7 miles inland and frost came a few weeks sooner. In the last few years it’s come in October which is way to early to suit me.
At least this year the warmth lasted through October and only tonight is frost expected.
According to the frost/free map my area is right on the line for frost so it could go either way.
Since I didn’t have as much time this week as I would have liked, I picked only the biggest and best. Everything else I left (and didn’t cover) hoping that maybe it would make it through. If it does, the warm days yet to come will increase my harvest and extend “fresh eating” season even further.
Lettuce, parsley and radishes look great. They’ll make it through the frosty night just fine.
I need to finish positioning my row cover fabric so I’ll be ready when temperatures fall below 32ºF.
Just in the last week mache is making an appearance! (Yeh!)
Chards and lettuces planted for my fall/winter/ and early spring gardens are doing great this year. Hope that continues.
Just a Reminder
Whenever you have time, give some thought to the various things you can do in your garden now to prepare for next year. It will save you a lot of work next spring.
I listed two posts at the end that address that in more detail in case you want to review them.
It’s Always Easier to Keep a Habit Rather Than Have to Reestablish It
Sometimes it’s hard to make myself go outside because of other things that are more pressing or because it’s cold, or because, because, because. But I panic when of think of breaking that habit that gets me out there even if only for a few minutes a day. (It’s easier to keep a good habit rather than to have to reestablish it.)
That few minutes each day, every day, makes all the difference in what I’m able to get done in a year’s time.
Many of you have written to me and told me that you’ve adopted my mantra “never underestimate the power of a little.” In case you’re new to TMG and don’t know about that, I’ve included the link to the post so you can review.
Let me know how you’re doing and what you’re doing. And always feel free to ask if you think I can help you.
Frost Freeze Maps – Almanac Tips on Predicting Frost
Winter Preps for Spring – 9 tips
Winter Tasks – How They Effect Peak Season
Never Underestimate the Power of a Little
While this has been a very odd year for my garden I think it has also been one of the greatest years to learn, and I just can’t hide the excitement for next year. I see a winter crammed full of planning time to make use of this years experience. I opened up another piece of land that was a water filled gully in the spring. This meant bringing in lots of topsoil that of course is of questionable past so that will be a new beginning for soil recovery but will allow me to effectively rotate crops that has always been a problem. My neighbors gave me leaves, leaves, leaves. Enough to cover the open ground with about 15″ of chipped mulch plus what I tilled in. All in all it’s been a happy year – a product of my garden. Thanks again
Wow, frost already, please keep it up there because my Florida fall garden is underway. I will pull 2 small tomato plants that just are not thriving, one other i will clip back and hope it makes it because it is loaded with flowers on the top third of the plant. My cucumbers are going crazy, I have way too many plants out there but they took so fast that I did not have the heart to thin them. LOL I checked on them this morning and the bees were very busy with all the blooms. I should have cukes by next week. I already am harvesting jalapeños and I will be transplanting more lettuce later today. I started basil seeds instead of direct planting so those will go into my herb garden today as well. Green peppers not doing great in the garden so I may pot those this weekend. All is growing well in Florida. Bonnie
Here in lower Michigan in the city, we have not had a frost yet, but my garden has been mostly done for a month. I have a few peppers yet, My wife picked some squash yesterday, but no green tomatoes this year like in the past. We use to pick a bunch and put them in shallow cardboard boxes to eat for months, but not this year. I don’t know why. Any ideas Anybody?
I feel your excitement Ray and share it with you! It’ll be a grand new season for you!
Bonnie, I want to “beam” down and grab one of those cucumbers to go with my other veggies! Enjoy all those fresh delights and think of us up here in the cold! 🙂
Don, I think almost everyone I’ve talked to has had an unusual tomato year. This is the first time since I’ve been gardening that I’ve not had bushels and bushels of tomatoes from my plants — in summer and in fall. Must be some variable that is so slight we’re not aware of it — but it’s definitely in play.
My tomatoes were also late to bloom but I did finally get a nice harvest. Thought it was just here locally, but everyone I’ve talked to had tomato troubles this year.
Had tons of cukes this season. Loving it!
While we’ve had several nights around 30 degrees and one of 27, I still have lettuce. It may be too cold to grow much, but I haven’t lost any yet.
Theresa: My wife Peg wanted to send you some leaves since you don’t have enough to mulch, but I convinced her it would be a bad idea, as I have no idea what organisms we might transfer. I had to empty the bag she’d already stuffed over the garden. LOL
Happy winter! See you in the spring.
What a bountiful harvest! How blessed you are! I’m excited to see how my lettuce and kale winter over this year. Glad for this nice rain we’re having today too.