Alas, the dreaded "freeze watch" is in effect for my area

CaraRoseOctober 21, 2013

First freeze watch of the year for tonight. I'm thinking I'll pick all the green tomatoes and cut all the basil.

Should I pick any peppers or eggplants that are large enough to be worthwhile? Same with the pole beans?

I have some swiss chard that's not huge yet, should I just throw a sheet over them tonight? I know they're more likely to tolerate the cold. I figure the kale will probably not care at all, so I'm going to leave that be.

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Pick the beans. They get rubbery after frost. I'm wishing there would be a frost alreadybecause I need to get some tasks done and don't want to throw away blooming annuals. I can't remember having so many fallen autumn leaves among my blooming container plants!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 3:20PM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

Pick the peppers, beans, and eggplants. Frost is not kind to peppers and I assume it's the same with eggplants (I've never grown them). Chard can handle light frosts but if it's supposed to freeze you should cover them. Kale should be fine.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 3:52PM
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at last I can stop making pesto!!
39 degrees was predicted last night, but we got a HARD freeze. So much later than last year -- I am actually thankful for the long pesto season.

the swiss chard survived the surprise freeze.
Hope yours did too.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 8:40PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Hard to believe I was picking beans, cukes, and zucchini last week! The freeze is almost 3 weeks late, and there were none of the early frosts in September either. A lot of things took advantage of that... most of all the acorn squash that I planted July 4th, and which ripened over 50 squash. The serrano peppers also appreciated the extra time, they are loaded, and hung in the garage to ripen a little more before drying.

This almost makes up for the cool, wet start to our Summer.

Never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I'm looking forward to putting the garden to bed, and preparing for next year.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 2:15AM
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I agree, zeedman. I picked the last beans, peppers and squash over the weekend, and there's nothing left but brassicas, peas and carrots. They'll be gone soon, too. With the freeze, the leaves will be falling hard now, and time to till them into the garden for next year.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 8:12AM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

DH is picking chard today, nothing else out there that is left is worth messing with except maybe the parsley, which I might pick tonight and chop into water and freeze. Wonder how long I can keep the chard going if I cover it with clear plastic tubs? Anybody ever try that?


    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 9:45AM
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I took a day off work tomorrow so I can bring in my indoor plants, harvest the last of my veggies (peppers, zuc, squash), basil/sage/parsley and collect seeds. In PA and think a freeze will be here by the weekend. I must say, I've never seen so many woolly bears. I can't walk without almost stepping on one. Lots of brown so a mild winter??

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 9:33PM
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I picked all my peppers with the intention of pickling the smaller ones. Swiss chard gets sweeter and has a wonderful flavor after it has been hit by frost. Leave it until it's really dead. Sorry, I can't remember how long ours lasted last year.
Beets are still great but I need to cover them with hay or leaves. I let some 2012 heirloom turnips go to seed but waited almost too long to get the seeds this year so lots feel on the ground creating a wild thick patch of turnip greens. I am using them in recipes calling for chard or beet greens. Very tasty while the leaves are still young and tender.
This year I grew potatoes for the first time so they used up a lot of garden space. No room for carrots sorry to say. Last year I covered the row of carrots with straw and was able to harvest even after it snowed. Parsley is biennial so I usually leave all winter. It starts growing again in the spring and is good until it puts out flower stems.

Time to plant garlic!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 8:15AM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

Good to know - thanks! I covered the chard and parsley the other night but I think I will go out and pull the covers off again for now. I appreciate the advice!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 9:51AM
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Yes, hope to get the garlic in this weekend. Not entirely sure where I'm going to put it yet.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 11:55AM
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What are wooly bears?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 10:21PM
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Wooly bears are garden meteorologists (known to some as fat, furry caterpillers). They quite accurately predict the entire winter according to how much black (cold) and orange (mild) they have on their bodies, and how the stripes are situated. They are actually on payroll at NWS. Ours say a mild winter too.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 11:11PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Mine have been showing a lot of brown too. I've seen a number that are brown except for the very tail end... Mild winter into a cold spring?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 10:41AM
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I saw an all brown one today. I hope the little guys are right.
The cooler nights lately took my vines, annuals except for my troopers, the Marigolds. They still look as bright as a day in August. One more 'mow' to pick up leaves this weekend. Then she :) rests for the winter. That little Honda mower was one of my best purchases.
Heh, but then after that all I could afford was a Home Depot shovel...need another mild winter!! Thank goodness for a no-sidewalk street.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:42PM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

Well, it appears I'm going to have a cold winter. I saw two woolly bears today and both of them were about two-thirds black.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 1:40PM
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Thanks, Elisa. Caterpillars on payroll???

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 8:45PM
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