I get up early, my natural internal clock is programmed and I am ready to start the day usually well before the sun comes up. There is a drawback to my internal settings because I cannot seem to stay awake in the evening time and would rather be sleeping by 7 pm that trying to do, see, or get any work done at the end of the day.
This morning I took a gander at the digital weather station as is my normal first objective as I stagger into the dining room. Even without my glasses on I could see that the temperature had dropped into the 30’s. I had to grab my glasses to make sure that I was not seeing things. Over the next two hours I watched as the temperature dropped even further.
At the lowest point the digital weather station clocked a mere 35 degrees. During the spring time, I have seen spots of frost around the garden and yard when the weather station reported 35 degrees.
I went outside to see for myself and sure enough there was a coating of frost over the pickup. It was too late to try running the irrigation on the tender plants for protection so I had to wait to see once the temperature warmed if there was any damage to the garden. At this point the leaves would already be frozen and the damage done. Continue reading
It has been nearly a month since the last frost, highly unusual for us. But this week has had the thermometer dipping down to 26 degrees at night. The killing frost did in my tomato plants that valiantly produced well into October. It leveled the Swiss Chard and melted the squash plants.
The garden looks sad right now. All the above ground vegetables need to be pulled up and the entire area cleaned for winter.
Still producing are the red cabbages, beets, carrots and potatoes.
The frost dries out the husks on the filberts which makes what nuts are left on the tree fall. I pick up handfuls several times a day to discourage pilfering squirrels and Stellar’s Jay birds from raiding the bounty. This has been a very good year for filberts and have been busy drying and shelling them for storage in the freezer.
The thermometer said the temperature was down to 37 degrees, but out in the garden the squash plants told another story.
The leaves on squash plants are a good indicator of frost since they tower taller than most of the vegetables and the leaves are thin and exposed to temperature fluctuation. Some but not all of the leaves on the squash plants did get a nip of frost. It was not enough to kill back the plant and it will keep growing until a colder frost comes along.
Since we are a little higher than the Willamette Valley the possibility of frost comes early around here. September 15th is when I start watching for the chance of frost on what is left of the garden vegetables.
This year surprised me and the first tinge of frost was seen on the morning of October 3rd. The zucchini and yellow crookneck squash with their tall leaves saw their edges curl from the frost and the basil browned from the tips to the stalks. It signaled the end for the beans that had been still producing. Only a couple of the tomato plants had their edges nipped during the coolness. The vines on the cucumbers and spaghetti squash are completely dead, and I have already started on caning the spent raspberry stalks that produced in the early summer and those late bloomers that recently fruited.
Now begins the garden cleanup in earnest. This makes the cows in the show barn very happy because what gets pulled out of the garden gets dumped over the fence for them to scour through to pick delightful tidbits of fruit and vegetables.
Three days of pretty heavy frost has wiped out much of the garden.
The potatoes, squash, cucumbers, beans and tomatoes were hit pretty hard and now is the time to start fall clean-up around the orchard and garden.
Oh it was great while it lasted and we reaped so much produce out of the area. You will be seeing posts about the steps we take to get the spot ready for winter.
The garden is alive with color as we wait for frost.
The nasturtiums and convolvulus are so happy and growing their little hearts out.
It won’t take much cold weather before these beauties are gone for the season.
Phooey. We had a pretty good frost the other night and it nipped the blossoms on my cherry tree. Continue reading