Iffytober and Frost

In Tennessee, October is an iffy time for gardening and the weather-guessers don’t offer much help. During the summer their inaccuracies may mean having to water on a day we didn’t plan to, but little else. In October a new foe comes a-calling: frost.

Some of the crops in my garden will handle frost just fine: lettuce, spinach, Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic to name a few. These will grow just fine on into the winter. But the last of the summer crops are not so hardy.

Basket-peppers-green

I still have tomatoes, bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos, red potatoes and sweet potatoes growing heartily and producing. I hate to rip these out for fear of a frost that dos not come, then get an additional two weeks of Indian summer where more of those items would have ripened. I still have two flats of green tomato relish canned up from last year’s frost aversion.

So I keep covers handy: bed sheets, light blankets, plastic sheeting all work well. I keep a box of spring clamps in the barn as well to secure these to my box frames. Until we get an actual freeze, this will keep the plants alive by keeping the frozen dew off the plants. Play it safe: cover up anytime a frost is possible. (Read More…)

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