Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ooooh Baby, It Was Cold Last Night!

Well, cold for us California weather wimps. And thank goodness it was not as cold as the original weather forcast that sent me scrambling to protect some of my babies.

You start seeing ghostly things like this cropping up in gardens around here at this time of year.

It didn't get any colder than the low we experienced a few nights ago, but it stayed at that low longer.

Long enough to freeze standing water.

And put a film of frost on a lot of surfaces.

Some of the plants look quite pretty in their frosty coats.

I'm not sure how the lettuce will bear the cold.

And the peas will definitely suffer.
I tried to protect the crowns of the plants,
but the tops are likely done for.

I also tried to protect the base of the passion vine.
The tops didn't look too bad.
I'm not sure about the fruit though.

The Aji Pineapple is under wraps.

The baby chard looks ok inside its water bottle cloche.

The pepper bed is a sorry sight.

And you won't be seeing this forgotten basket of peppers
 on the Harvest Monday post.

At least I remembered to turn off the water
and remove the wand from the hose.

The basil is nothing but a memory now.

The squash plants atop the compost are cold,
but it's wam inside!

The ghosts seen in the light of day.

It's time to go back out and see how it looks now that the sun is out and things have thawed out.


  1. Everyone out west seems to be getting some bitter cold. We have gotten cold here, but it is just normal cold for this time of year. Next week we are supposed to have average lows in the teens. It is hard for me to remember that after such an abnormally warm November.

    I hope your plants survive the cold snap.

  2. The poor peppers. I was wondering if you were getting a freeze after hearing about the weather all through your part of the world. At least you don't have a blanket of white stuff.

  3. Hi Michelle,
    My lettuce survived lows in the upper 20s here in Nebraska. I harvested some the first week of December, which is the latest I've ever had lettuce in the garden. It's much colder and covered with snow, now. I'm thinking your allysum should be fine, too. I hope more was.

  4. It's so strange who quickly the weather has turned this year. It will be interesting what survives and what doesn't. I know that I will be holding my breath when I open up my hoop houses later on this week. Temperatures are expected to get down into the teens!

    At least you were able to get some things covered. I'm wondering how my lettuce will fare as well.

  5. I hope it was okay afterwards. I should have covered tonight, but I didn't. . . we'll see how tomorrow is!

    Hang in there.

  6. Wow that looks so cold, but the frost is quite pretty on the leaves and flowers.

  7. Hmm, that's cold, but it looks as though you got the plants protected in time! We haven't had a frost here yet, in very stark contrast to this time last year, but I don't suppose it'll be long.

    The harvests in your previous post look so good... peppers are just a distant memory in our garden!

  8. I'm really curious, are those Christmas lights under the row covers and if so how well do they work? Maybe a 5°difference? We are thinking of setting up a couple long hoop rows this spring for some of our seedlings and using lights to keep them from frosting is why I ask.

  9. Daphne, we seem to get at least one good cold snap every winter, last year it came a week later and wreaked the same kind of havoc on the garden. So far it looks like the summer veggies have suffered the most. I imagine the kale is going to be extra flavorful though!

  10. Dan, the poor peppers are done. And there is some white stuff visible on the mountain tops to the south.

  11. Hi Corner Garden Sue, welcome! The lettuce and the alyssum did come through ok. Now the lettuce needs to get big enough to start harvesting, it was a slow grower this fall.

  12. Thomas, We get quick weather changes all through winter, it won't be a surprise if we get 70F daytime temps in January. And there's bound to be more frosty nights on the way. Next up, it looks like it's going to rain, rain, rain. Snow would be a big surprise.

    I'm going to be very interested to see how your garden fares under it's protective coverings, especially after temps in the teens. Brrr, makes me cold just thinking about it!

  13. Stefaneener, I'm surprised how cold it got for you, you're close to the bay which usually moderates the temperatures more. I was away yesterday evening and didn't get home until late and forgot to recover a couple of things... oh well.

  14. Prue, the silver lining so far as frosty nights go!

  15. Jan, the peppers will be just a memory soon, I've got a bunch that I stripped from the plants to deal with and then that's it until next year. It seems that I'm always hoping for a mild winter and then, wham! we get the arctic blast.

  16. Mr H., Yes those are christmas lights. I'm not sure just how much of a difference it makes. I had one covered tree without lights that had a film of frost on the cover and the lighted trees had no frost on their covers, so it must have helped some. It would have been interesting to put a thermometer in there to see how cold it got, but I didn't have time to get around to that.

  17. I'm in Concord, CA and there were actually snow flurries a few blocks from my house this morning. Unbelieveable! I hope all your babies make it. So far the only thing suffering for me is the brugmansia (which I know I shouldn't have planted in the first place, but always manages to bounce back in the spring). On the other hand, I haven't had the heart yet to peak around the side of the house and see how my newly planted garden is holding up...

  18. Susan, snow, this morning! Crazy...

    My angel's trumpets are actually ok and I did nothing to protect them, although they are planted in the most sheltered parts of the garden. They tend to suffer more from insuffecient water than from frost, maybe water stress toughens them.

    I hope your new plantings do ok, your garden was looking so beautiful.

  19. That looks a bit chilly, but pretty. We haven't had frost yet, but temperatures are forecast to go down to zero C this weekend.

    We find that red-leaved lettuce varieties survive cold weather quite well, in fact winter is the time when we grow lettuce because it's too hot and dry for it in summer.


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