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First frost didn’t hit (or why you can’t trust everything you see on the TV news)

By Penny Stine

I know the end is coming soon, but I've been counting on a few more weeks for the garden. I've still got lots of green tomatoes, and I was checking the overnight forecasted lows all weekend. On Saturday, when I saw that everything (except the spaghetti squash in the straw bale) seemed to have survived Friday night, I decided not to pick everything in a panic.

After all, the weather was delightful, so I took another gamble that I wouldn't lose anything overnight. 

By Sunday, I was checking the National Oceanography and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website practically hourly, and it kept insisting that the low would be 34 degrees. So I didn't pick my green tomatoes, squash, peppers, basil, cucumbers, tomatillos, okra or anything else that was still out there and would die in a killing freeze. 

Then I made the mistake of watching the television news on Sunday night. The anchors went on and on about the freeze warning. They had a graphic showing the area (in blue!) that was supposed to freeze. My house was in the area. They had a table showing the previous two years' first frost compared to this year's projected date (that would be last night). They had enough information to put the fear of frost in me and make me wish I had picked all of my green tomatoes. 

I couldn't bear to look at my garden this morning before work. Well, actually, I went to work early and it was too dark to really see much of anything. 

So  I checked at lunch. 

Some of my basil didn't survive.

But, fortunately, most of it did. 

 

 

 

 

 

The frost seems to have damaged my tomatillos somewhat, but I think if I pick tonight, I'll be OK. And frankly, I've had plenty of tomatillos. How many jars of tomatillo sauce do I need?

While the cucumber plants look pretty well gone, I think the cucumbers themselves will be OK. 

Best of all, my tomato plants survived! Yes, I know, they will die soon, but in the meantime, they've got a few more days to ripen. And the NOAA forecast says 37 tonight. I refuse to listen to the television news. 

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