Saturday, October 17, 2015

First Frost


We finally had our first frost, exactly 2 weeks after our first frost date of October 3rd:

Marigolds with a layer of frost
 
I knew this was coming and harvested all of the frost tender veg in the last couple of days.  And even though broccoli is supposed to handle a frost well, I harvested all of the larger shoots just in case.

Frosty Broccoli
 
I also blew out the lines in my drip system (which only covers 4 of the beds, but a plan is being created for ALL the beds next year).  A couple of the hoses are still outside, so I have to take care of that - dealing with a tangle of hoses is not one of my favourite tasks, that's for sure!

One task I did get to was covering up the lettuce bed:

Lettuce covered with Agribon
 
When I stuck my hand inside, it was relatively toasty compared to the frigid temps outside, and the lettuce was looking beautifully perky:

Peaking inside the 2 layers of Agribon reveals lettuce
that is just about ready for picking
 
And on another note, we FINALLY cut down the willow a couple of days ago:

Wiley willow is finally cut down
 
Trees are so deceiving - they are always much bigger than they look while still standing.  An entire afternoon to cut it down, section by section, and then chip the smaller branches and cut the larger ones into firewood which goes in our shed to dry out.  The last task is to cover the stump with black plastic and mulch - I'll likely need to keep it covered for the next year or so as this particular tree is susceptible to suckering.

So several fall tasks have been knocked off the list, but there are still many more to go including finishing the mulch on the hilltop, cleaning all of my cell packs & trays, dealing with the dried beans, onions and garlic in the garage, and, most importantly, getting the garlic in the ground.  It's going to be a busy couple of weeks.

Till next time...

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

14 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos of frost on the Marigolds and Broccoli! Somehow, we escaped the predicted frost last night. Our forecast was for temps of 26F/-3C, but I don't think we got below 34F/1C. Similar forecast tonight, so we'll see if I still have Zinnias, Marigolds, Cosmos, and Lantanas tomorrow! I covered some potted plants and Lettuce (yours looks so yummy!), so I knew they would be OK. But eventually, it will happen. It's a game of chance now. Folks in other parts of the county had frost, so I'm kind of surprised. Happy harvest!

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    1. Thanks Beth! You just never know when they predict a frost or freeze whether it will hit you specifically - I'm still trying to figure out what the microclimates are for my backyard compared to the "local" forecasts...been thinking that one of those digital weather stations would come in handy. And lettuce can last through even a hard freeze with just a bit of protection, like Agribon - just don't pick it while it's frozen but let it thaw out first...I'm hoping to keep the lettuce patch going well into November like I did a couple of years ago.

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  2. Today was our first frost day but we haven't had any yet although has gotten cold. Should warm up a bit next week. Hubby cleaned out the garage today and brought the fountain and yard art in and I wiped down some shelves out there. I think we are pretty much ready for the first frost. That lettuce looks beautiful. Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy - the first frost date is hit or miss, but it's nice when there are more misses than hits, isn't it? I wish I was as organized as you obviously are! I should have had those hoses packed up and all my spring planting cell packs washed long before now.

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  3. It looks like you're well prepared for cold weather and your lettuce well protected. Hopefully your garden will get lots of sun now that the willow is cut down, it's amazing how big they can get.

    We might get a frost tonight but then will be returning to 70s and 80s (21 and 26 degrees Celsius) in a few days.

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    1. From frost to 26 degrees - that's quite the swing in temperature! I do love the fall & it's cool, crisp air, but my butternut squash could have used another few days in the warm sun. I think I planted them out late this year, so I'm nonetheless happy with what I did get.

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  4. No frost here as yet but it's only a matter of time now, the nights are getting colder. It does look pretty when everything's covered in a layer of frost, like your marigolds, but it doesn't do the veggies much good. Your lettuce is looking fabulous, the covering is certainly doing its job.

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    1. It's been a while since we've had some homegrown lettuce. I'm so happy that I sowed that lettuce when I did & am looking forward to some nice salads in the next few weeks.

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  5. We had our first frost at the same time you did. It got down below freezing this morning, so I've been doing prep much like you have. You are ahead of me with the willow tree though! I have one shading the garden that needs to come down. So far I haven't had problems with suckers showing up, but then the persimmon tree I cut down almost five years ago is still sending up sprouts everywhere, including all over the main garden area. I truly hope your willow goes away without too much of a fight!

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    1. Me too - we had a sister tree about 10' or so away from this one that we cut down earlier this year for a whole other reason - last year it was swarming with aphids and became a wasp haven, which blocked our lawn tractors access to the backyard (we had to go through our neighbors yard - not exactly ideal!). Since we cut it down this spring, it has sent up a veritable army of suckers all summer long. We gave it another chop last week and hopefully the black plastic and mulch will put an end to both siblings ;)

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  6. Ha, I've just posted a picture of frosty marigolds, too!

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    1. Oh, that's so funny! I think there is something sort of magical about marigolds and frost - must be all those frost catching frills & bright orange colour.

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  7. Brrr! Looks like you had more of a frost than I did. Weeping Willows are useless trees, planted long ago to make North America look like England. I'm surprised you make use of them for firewood. Good riddance!

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    1. Yup, willows have no place in a small backyard, that's for sure. Unless that's all you want to grow, that is ;)

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