According to NOAA , November 14 is the calendar average first freeze date in our neck of the woods. We may well be experiencing that freeze in the lower garden right now. So we spent the last few days getting ready.
The first activity, of course, was to harvest everything left in the garden that couldn’t be protected to withstand a hard freeze (25 degrees predicted later in the week). So all the tomatoes and peppers, eggplants, french beans, red ripper peas, rat-tail radish, basil and daikon were picked and packed for bonuses in CSA boxes, restaurant delivery and home canning. I’ll be spending the next day or two making chow-chow and green tomato pickles, pesto and freezer meals.
Next step – cover everything else that could continue to grow – kales and kohlrabi, rutabaga and radicchio, turnips, carrots, cilantro and collards and more – all the cold-weather crops. These would have been fine for a 30-32 degree chill, but we’ll get substantially colder than that, and the few degrees of protection from row cover could make the difference.
We mulched the blueberries with a little extra chopped leaves to protect the shallow root systems and made sure everything was watered. Moist ground conducts the heat of the earth more efficiently than dry, and watered plants are less likely to suffer leaf-burn.
Moved potted herbs and took cuttings of others for greenhouse propagation.
Drained the irrigation system.
Lit the greenhouse furnace and checked out the thermostats.
All good. Time to make a great pot of red ripper peas, bake a pumpkin bread, build a fire in the fireplace and kick back for a cold evening.
Y’all stay warm!