Tag Archives: frost

Seedling disaster

I left the tomato seedlings out in the greenhouse overnight, and most of them were killed by frost.

I wasn’t just stupid enough to forget to bring them in; I knew, 100%, that they had to come in.  However, I had some allergic reaction come on in the evening with a rash that spread quickly all over my body with redness and bumps – strange and alarming.  The benadryl I took for that, that I’m not sure I’ve ever taken before, conked me out like an anesthetic, so that I woke up in the morning howling “the tomatoes!”

I ran out and looked and they appeared fine.  They were just frozen in the posture of life, though, and when it warmed up they collapsed, their structural cells exploded by the frost crystals inside them.  I was sick about it all day.Strangely, there was no pattern to the survivors.  Some tomatoes are standing perfectly unscathed, among their fellows looking like steamed spinach.  Same strain, no pattern to where they were on the rack… a mystery.  Either perfectly intact, or destroyed.  No in between.

I’m hoping that many or most of them will stage a comeback, like they did after the great chicken decimation last year.  Most of them have most of their stalk intact- still firm and upright, and may regenerate leaves in a few days.  I’m sure their roots didn’t freeze.  And we have many smaller seedlings lying in wait in case of just such a disaster, but they will be behind.  It’s a setback, any way you look at it.

Mystery allergy rash was gone in the morning, thanks to benadryl.  I’d rather have the tomatoes and keep the rash.

Cold nights

Proper frost.  Not the first.  We got a squash-killing frost Sep 30.

Chicken water

The outdoor sunflowers are finished.  They didn’t tip over like the GH sunnies, growing strong stems from living outside.  I spread them out on top of the wood stove (hmm, it’s cold and I could stand to start a fire but now I can’t), because if I spread them out on the floor again, then…Dum dum dadum. Here come(s) the mice!(bride).I experimented with ripping the backs off the heads, since there’s kind of a hollow stem and air pocket.  My theory is that less organic matter to get soft and mouldy means faster drying seeds. My entire take of homegrown sunflower seeds this year will be approximately one day’s wild bird ration.  I feed the birds 7 bags of black oil seeds in the winter.  That’s a fair chunk of Saskatchewan sunflower field.  I want to get good at growing them – lots of them, but so far am bad at it.  I love the fractal quality of the seed heads.  Magical.

OMG, peanuts!  They look like real little peanuts.  I couldn’t wait to open them.  Inside they’re jammed in like peas, the pod is soft and wet, and they taste not much like a peanut.  They taste like a raw bean.  Fun preliminary success with the experiment of the year.  I think they’ll be much happier in the greenhouse next year.

I think this cold spell might have put paid to the fruit flies too (calloo, callay!).

First frost

Doesn’t it seem early for frost?   I’m not ready for winter!!

We had two nights of light frost, enough to fry some of the squash leaves, and last night a proper frost-all the open areas whitened, and ice on top of the chicken’s water.

I have pretty much the entire garden covered, and all the new trees.  Everything sensitive is festooned with fabric and feed sacks where I ran out of fabric- not a Better Homes & Gardens look, but there should be another week or two of ripening weather before Jack Frost comes calling with a heavy knock.