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The Inevitable

September 16th, 2014

Well it looks like we may have frost on Thursday night. The gardens here are south facing and we are on top of a hill, so we get frost much later in the fall than many of the gardens in the area. I have a few melons and butternut squashes that I will cover just in case, but most everything else will be allowed to live or die depending on what happens that night.
Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 11.31.40 AM
I used to cover tomatoes and peppers, trying to eek out a few more ripe fruits, but realized quickly that my efforts were in vain. Now I will only cover things like squash that will continue to ripen for winter storage.
frost 1
In some ways frost in welcome this time of year, particularly right now. It’s been a busy summer for us and I welcome the sense of finality that frost brings to the garden year. There’s still a lot to do to get the garden ready for winter, mulching and seeding cover crops are two big chores that will take a lot of time. It is nice to see the finish line up ahead, I’m really looking forward to a little rest this coming winter!

When is your first frost, does it seem early/late this year?

5 Comments to “The Inevitable”
  1. Nebraska Dave on September 16, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Susy, it appears that fall temperatures are about a month ahead of schedule. Old Jack Frost is hovering in the background just waiting for a change to blow his frosty breath on every thing here. I too am glad to see the end of the season come. I’ve never tried to extend the season like some do. I’m usually ready to go into the planning mode for next year by the time a killing frost comes. Soon the new seed catalogs will begin coming and breathe life into a new season of growth. Even through my gardens this year were very disappointing and not really much garden structure was accomplished because of excessive rain, it was still a year that was better than the cubical corporate rat race.

    At the end of the garden year, it’s good for me to reflect through my blogs to see just what was accomplished during the garden year. Even though this year was not as productive as most much was accomplished. Some fence was built; the natural spring development was started; a pallet fence was built; rocks for raised bed borders were hauled; railroad ties were hauled for spring development; and the list goes on and on. It always amazes me at how much actually was accomplished even it doesn’t seem like it. Just three years ago Terra Nova Gardens was a wild untamed neighborhood dump. The history of this parcel of land has changed drastically.

    Have a great frost inevitable day.

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  2. Sara on September 16, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Our average here is early- to mid-October, but like Nebraska Dave we’ve been flitting around freezing temps already, and there have been advisories North of us. We usually go a bit longer though–like you guys we have a South-Facing garden on a hill. I’m about ready I suppose, though I have a lot of nice tomatoes yet to ripen!

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  3. Jenny on September 16, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Our frost free season is short here May 21 to Sept 15, and we had first frost early this year, maybe about a week ago (Sept 10-ish), enough that I had to scrape my car.

    I do the opposite of you. I just garden on my balcony, so I pull most of my plants into the living room when it starts to get cold. It looks like a jungle now. If I didn’t do this, I would only have had one tomato from six plants before frost came. Now I have 5 more tomatoes within a few days of being ready, and another bunch maybe a week or two behind. Peppers and herbs are still going well too, but I’m about ready to harvest the ripe (hot) peppers and set the plants out to make a little more space. I still have a bunch of them dried from last year.

    Usually I just keep them in for a month or so to ripen the closest tomatoes, but one year I kept them in. I was able to eat at least one fresh tomato a month all winter. They weren’t as good as my summer tomatoes, but they sure beat a grocery store tomato at that time of year.

    As a bonus, the plants tend to die back a bunch and get pretty sad looking over the winter, but they start to get new growth as the days start to lengthen. I can cut that new growth and root it in the spring, and get my next years tomato plants without having to buy starts or mess with seeds.

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  4. Sarah on September 16, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Ours is usually early December. I kind of miss getting that break, right now I’m gearing up deal with lots leaves and planting my fall garden.

    Reply to Sarah's comment

  5. Jennifer Fisk on September 17, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Here on the Downeast Coast of ME, first frost varies. I’ve seen it coincide with Common Ground Fair and I’ve seen it wait until mid October. I’ve also seen snow in mid October on the Island. You just never know what is going to happen. I’ve cleaned up a lot of my garden because once the sun gets lower in the sky, things just seem to stop flourishing. The brassicas, winter squash and rooties will remain but the rest will probably get pulled Sunday.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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