Frost Protection for Your Garden

August 23, 2008 heavenlygardens

Last week, I mentioned that my tomato plants often last through the first few frosts, as long as I cover them. One year, I planted the tomatoes next to the east side of our home where they could absorb heat from the house as the nights grew colder. Although it took longer for them to ripen because they were in sunlight only through the morning hours and shade from about noon on, they produced an amazing amount of tomatoes, more than 500 weighing between one half and 2 pounds. This, on only 6 plants. So I just couldn’t bear to let them die before their time. They’d been such good producers.

Amazingly, I was still harvesting tomatoes on December 31st that year, in spite of a few light snowfalls. And, much to my delight and surprise, the plants still had about 50 large green tomatoes on them.

By New Year’s Eve, however, I was tired of going outside each evening to cover those gorgeous plants, so I decided to pick all of the tomatoes and allow them to ripen inside. To this day, I still wonder how long they would have continue to produce tomatoes if I had continued to water and cover them. As far as I know, no one else in our area has had such a long tomato run.

My point is this: Autumn will arrive in a few weeks. Depending on where you live, you may have another 4 weeks or another 8 to 12 weeks of reasonably nice evening temperatures before the first frost arrives. Now is the time to purchase row covers if you haven’t already.

You can purchase row covers at local garden centers, Lowe’s, and local nurseries, as well as online at such web sites as Gardens Alive! which sells
Heavy Weight Row Covers that keep your plants protected from early Spring or late Fall frosts. Their polyethylene Tunlcover™ Plant Protector can cover an 18-foot row of vegetables.

I recommend ordering row covers early and then setting them up, so you’re certain you know how they work. There’s nothing worse than being outside in the rain, sleet, or snow wrestling with the row cover and ending up in a frozen tangle.

Plan ahead and you can slow down your garden’s slide into Winter, as well as enjoy late tomatoes, peppers, and other wonderful veggie treats.

To Your Gardening Abundance

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Entry Filed under: Autumn Garden, Cool Weather Garden, Gardening and tagged: , , , , ,

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