Frost is pretty when…

Frost burning off in the morning sun

The days have warmed up now, mostly around 60-70°F (15-20°C), but the nights are unusually cold, dropping sometimes to freezing or a few degrees above. Frost burning off in the early morning sun is pretty when you don’t have anything in the field for it to kill, which I don’t… Let’s see: broccoli, cauliflower, radish, carrots, spinach, chard, beets, peas, parsnips, all-lettuce mesclun, tatsoi-mustard-arugula-bok choi mix… Nope, no worries there. (Funny thing, while pea plants are hardy, I believe the pods aren’t… I’ve never seen that in action, fall peas haven’t worked for me so far, and I don’t think there’ll be frost 40 days from now when this year’s first peas come in…). Meanwhile in the unheated greenhouse, although I’ve only fired up the kerosene heater once, just to be safe, row cover goes on all the tender stuff (toms, eggplant, peppers, and now, cukes, pumpkin, melons and squash, just about to poke up): on in the evening, off in the morning, better safe than toasted!

Removing row cover in the morning

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4 Responses to “Frost is pretty when…”

  1. OrganicCat says:

    So how does corn do in frost? :p

    I’ve got a patch that doesn’t look so good, but is doing quite a bit better. Some of it died off but the rest is growing again. I’m thinking of replanting the ones that died so I can get a full row in. My field garlic is doing pretty good after being transplanted although some of it appears to be “molting” outer layers. Not sure if that’s good or bad.

    The rest of my stuff in my little garden such as cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce and chives are doing great. The lettuce is growing so fast and hardy I’ll have to thin it soon. I hate picking out perfectly good plants but I seeded poorly (I threw seeds all over the place in the ditch) so it’s my own fault. My soil is a little too tough to transplant very effectively, very claylike, so that’s not really an option either. Oh well, a few early munchies won’t hurt I guess. Just my first year and having fun so far :)

    P.S. What kind of camera do you use? Those are very bright and colorful pictures :)

  2. hyd says:

    hi mike! i just bought a 65 acre farm (20 acres pasture, 45 cedar&pine bush) outside fenelon falls. sooo excited. just wanted to let you know that i will now be reading your blog with even more attention to detail as i’ll have space to experiment on my own tiny farm! and we’ll be neighbours sorta! happy spring.

  3. Melissa says:

    I’m with you on the frost… it bit my little bitty tomatoes!  Wasn’t expecting a late scattered frost, and live too far from the garden to cover them.  Oh well, live and learn!

  4. Mike (tfb) says:

    OrganicCat: Well, all in all, it sounds like it’s going well for you! And thinning may take a while to get used to (it did for me), but it’s a good thing, crowded seedlings only look good when they’re seedlings, nice big tasty veggies only happen when you give ‘em space…! The camera is a Canon G9.

    hyd: Cool! I read your waiting-and…-got-it posts. That’s great. In FF, you are a neighbor. You’re welcome to drop by any time (oh, yeah, this blog is semi-anonymous… I’m near Lindsay, just drop me an email whenever).

    Melissa: Yeah, gambling on frost is annoying, can be a little nerve-racking. You could just cover your risky stuff right from when you transplant, until it’s all safe. If you get medium-lightweight row cover, it’ll give you a few degrees protection (at least 2-3F, which can be all it takes!), and hardly cut the light…

  5. I came across your picture of the grass with the frost on it when I did a search in google images.  I think it’s so beautiful! I hope you don’t mind, I put it on my blog with photo credit to your website.

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