We have a widespread frost advisory tonight, from 2 a.m. – 9 a.m. Sigh. The low is supposed to be 33. It’s another early first frost year. (We had an early frost last year, too; even earlier, as I recall. I think the average is mid-October.) What am I, a newbie gardener, to do with such information? If I run out and harvest or cover everything I can, surely it won’t frost. If I do nothing, it’ll turn out to be a full-blown freeze, and I’ll lose everything.
Jason was gone all day, and I was busy all day, so we all went out to the garden together at 6 p.m. and worked for an hour or so. We harvested all the eggplants (our first and last harvest of this veggie), peppers (one orange and one chocolate, the rest still green), onions, winter squash (the vines were dead anyway), a large armful of basil for drying, and probably a few other things that I’m forgetting.
I’m most concerned about the sweet potato plants. We have three full rows of them, and they have the potential to do very well for us, if we do it right. We found enough plastic sheeting to cover 2/3 of the plants; if we get the light frost we’re expecting, we will harvest the uncovered 1/3 tomorrow and hope for the best. They should be okay, from what I read, if we harvest them right away. Sweet potatoes don’t tolerate any frost. Jason dug up two plants, just to see what we’ve got down there (we haven’t peeked before today), and the yields were pretty nice. A good mix of lunkers and fingerlings. Encouraging, but we didn’t have time to harvest them all tonight, so covering was the next best option. I hope they do okay and can size up even more over the coming weeks, should frost stay away after tonight.
33 degrees. Doesn’t sound awful. But that’s too close to just ignore. Just hoping for the best. We didn’t do a thing with the beans still drying on the vine (pinto, cannellini, scarlet runner, etc.), nor the red cabbage, nor the napa cabbage, nor the carrots or leeks (which should be just fine with a light frost). Tell me they’ll be just fine.
Oh, the chickens are getting nice and cozy at night. We need to winterize their hoop house/coop/chicken tractor/thingy/etc. before too long. They should be hardy enough for nights like tonight, especially since there’s no wind to speak of. And there are 14 of them to share body heat. We’re getting 8-10 eggs a day now!