Garden Update – When You Get a Hard Freeze in October

Weather Alert – Hard Freeze in October.

I live in a bubble and most of the time I have no idea what is happening in the world (outside of whatever is going on with the 6 people who live in this house).  This drives my politics-loving, news-watching, current-event-enthusiastic, father crazy.

If there’s any type of storm coming [tornado watch, thunderstorm warning, hurricane advisory, freeze alert, water shortage, or whatever else] my news-obsessed father never fails to call me and let me know what’s happening.  If I didn’t have him as my storm siren I most likely wouldn’t know weather was about to hit until the cows blew away.

Thanks, Dad!

Since I don’t watch the news, the weather, or TV in general I had no idea we were about to get a hard freeze last week.  I found out approximately 3 hours before sundown when someone came into the Pawnshop and told me.  Yikes!

What?  A hard freeze?  Are you sure?  It’s only October?  Could it be a mistake?

Nope.

Hard freeze coming… tonight.

fall garden 10This news sent me (and 4 cute kids who may or may not have been wearing ninja masks and baseball pants) out to the garden to frantically pick all my precious squash, tomatoes, peppers and such before the freeze killed them all.

fall garden 3

Tomatoes, squash and peppers do not like to freeze.

fall garden 9

We got most of the fruit off the plants and into the garage where they wouldn’t be harmed by the frost.
fall garden 2

The frost did come.  It killed this beautiful squash patch along with the tops of the tomatoes and the tops of almost everything else.  The bottom half of my plants seem OK, so I’m going to let them continue to make me food until I can’t stand the garden anymore.  I’m not quite done yet.  
fall garden 8

My lettuce plants were troopers through the freezing night.  More on lettuce here.

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This pretty bed isn’t as pretty; the frost decorated the tips of the lettuce.

It contains lettuce (closest to you), Swiss chard (middle) and kale (pass the Swiss chard).  There’s some broccoli growing in the bed next door. fall garden 5

My tomato plants aren’t the nicest things you’ve ever seen, but they still have fruit on them so I’m not ripping them out yet.  It is October so I’m gonna be thrilled with every tomato they give me.  fall garden 6

The Sugar Snap Peas didn’t seem to care that it froze.

I poked the seeds into the ground several weeks ago.  They are beginning to flower and pod and climb their trellis.  We have already been munching on the sweet crunchy pods.  To see how we plant them go here.

Love me some sugar snap peas.  fall garden 7

Beets laugh at frost.  I am growing beets again because I want to pickle and can a few. I pickled beets last year and they were terrible.  I found out what I did wrong and want a second shot, so I put a few seeds in.

Beets are super easy go grow.  I haven’t ever had problems with diseases or pests on my beets, even the frost doesn’t bother them.

Cold season crops are so much hardier and easier to grow.  

rabbit in lettuce 2

Have I mentioned that my kids are always carrying farm critters around our place?  Ducks, chickens, piglets, bunnies – no one is safe.  At any moment you could be scooped up, bathed, or plopped into a bed of lettuce. RABBIT IN LETTUCE

I don’t think he minded.

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Happy Fall!

Candi

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