Monday, May 23, 2016


It is not unusual to have a hard frost in May and that is what we got last Sunday night. I have learned to keep the most frost sensitive transplants like peppers, tomatoes, squash, okra, basil and melons in pots by the house until the 4th week in May or the first week in June.

Several years I got enthusiastic about planting tomato plants early and they got frozen. I had a back-up set of plants to replace them with. But I have learned my lesson. I just don't transplant early to the field.

If you keep those early transplants in pots they grow just as well and you can cover or protect thousands of plants by bringing them inside or covering them.

I was talking to some of the growers at the farmers market and they reported.

That all their melons and cucumbers were frozen. Their is a premium for early produce so taking the risk is highly rewarded if things go well, but about half of the time you will loose that bet. Like many things in life, you'd better have a back up plan.

Most asparagus for the week was frozen, ours included. It will grow back. I picked the frozen spears and put them in a beet smoothie. You couldn't tell the difference from unfrozen used in this way.

The top leaves on the potatoes were also frozen. But they have already grown back and you can hardly tell they were damaged a week later.

Beans, corn, and zucchini were planted but not up yet so were not affected.

The home gardener can easily cover a few tomato and pepper plants. But they have to be vigilant and watch the weather.

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