We had a frost :(

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Tirzah, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. Tirzah

    Tirzah Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well,

    I am very new to gardening and didn't expect a frost yet. Nothing was covered and I was wondering if anything is salvagable.

    I saw the other post about frost and have written off the tomatoes for Green Tomato Chutney or Marmalade. However, a gal at church told me that I could individually wrap each tomtao in newspaper and it will ripen eventually. Has anyone ever tried this?

    Also,

    My pumpkins are not totally orange yet but are a decent size. Butternut squash are not quite ripe yet either. Any tips if I should pick them now and hope they ripen or should I chance leaving them on the vines?

    I would sure appreciate any help. I have a learned this lesson the hard way. But I am off to buy burlap coffee bags (25#) for next year.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    Straw helps, if you get warned beforehand. Many things should be okay, wait and see what pops back up. The pumpkins can survive light frosts, but try not to bring them in til you cannot pierce the skins with your thumbnail.
     

  3. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The pumpkins will keep "orange-ing up" to a point. Right now, I still have two left on vines that are limping along (due to age/disease rather than frost).

    If the tomatoes did not freeze, you have a couple options. You can cover them at night if you are warned of a freeze. You can pick them, wrap them in paper and bring them in the house; or you can pull the entire plant, bring it inside, and hang it upside down until the fruit ripens.

    If you wrap them in paper, CHECK THEM OFTEN!! Nothing like a slimy, rotten tomato! Also, if you put them in a paper sack with an apple, the apple gives off a gas that hastens ripening.

    Don't know what else is in your garden, or what zone you're in, so can't give any input on that.

    Pony!
     
  4. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    How heavy was the frost? Did you lose much?

    If you can leave the pumpkins on the vines (providing they are damaged but not dead) and get the pumpkins up off the ground you stand a better chance of them ripening. The ground is cool. If you can get the pumpkins up they'll warm faster in the morning.

    farm-garden.com/backyardgardener/row_covers There's a little bit of info on covering plants before a frost and to keep in warmth.
     
  5. Tirzah

    Tirzah Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you Susie, Pony and Maine Farm Mom.

    I will still try to cover the tomatoes. They are Branydwines and Boxcar Willies and we haven't even had one yet. Our dogs ate the first one to ripen. :rolleyes:

    I will also let the Butternut Squash and Pumpkins stay on the vine and will lift them off the ground.

    We just about lost zucchini, but that's okay :) Green Beans we had more than enough and they are close to winding down anyway.

    Other than that we had herbs (which I had al;eady harvested and dried), Indian corn, broom corn and mixed gourds (decorative) I will probably lift those up too.

    So that is what our garden was like this year. No cucumbers or anything else edible.

    Thank you so much for your advice, I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out.

    BTW, I live in zone 4-5.

    Thanks again :)
     
  6. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

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    This is about the 3rd year in a row we've wrapped our green tomatoes. They ripen and then we can them. It's really getting to be the norm here. I am determined to start them earlier next yr. This is Colorado!
     
  7. Tirzah

    Tirzah Well-Known Member Supporter

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    DW,

    What do you use to wrap them? I have heard about using newspaper but I don't know if I want to deal with the ink.

    I trimmed the excess growth off of them and am covering them with burlap bags. we'll see what happens.

    I will also be starting tomatoes earlier next year. The season seems so short here and when things start to take off it's Fall :)
     
  8. Colorado

    Colorado Well-Known Member

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    Tirzan, We got frost here too where I am in western Colorado. I am under 5000 ft and this frost is way way too early for here. It blackened the sweet potato vines but not dead. Blackened tops of tomatoes and peppers. Only zucchini layed down. Did not feeze the few squash that was on it. We went to 30 Sunday AM and yesterday morning 32 and this morning is 33 and probably will get colder. Least that is times I read it. Matters to where something was in the garden how hard it got hit. Eggplant curled the leaves. Potatoes were dug and in packing shed not sorted yet. Did not do good. Eggplants were just coming on good. Other things did not get planted as too late time I got the tomatoes and peppers and they were late. 1000 tomatoes and 500 peppers are not getting covered. Hopefully it will warm back up . I picked peppers yesterday , tossed a few and started picking tomatoes. Still more peppers to pick if do not freeze. Down to 32 now and still time to go lower. Can't pick today till after sun is up good and see what damage . I have been picking tomatoes only since the 10th of Aug. Heart breaking to see your food/income go down the drain.
     
  9. Tirzah

    Tirzah Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am so sorry to see you lost so much. That stinks. We are at about 6700 ft. where we are. I do hope that you can recover some veggies.
     
  10. Colorado

    Colorado Well-Known Member

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    Tirzah, green tomatoes make good relish, pickles, jam, and even pie. You can fry them.

    Bigger better plants in the spring. A smaller earlier tomato might ripen for you. I do not try to grow long season tomatoes even here. I tried some early ones and are too small, but Early Girl is okay. I grow bigger tomatos as main crop. Better say I try to grow them. 04 was great. Last year tomatoes refused to ripen. Lot here had that problem. Some years are different.
     
  11. Tirzah

    Tirzah Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the tips. I do have a recipe for Green Tomato Marmalade that I may make, it had ginger and lemon in it. My husband wouldn't be too keen on eating Fried green Tomatoes :(

    I will try earlier varieties next year. Thanks again for your help and I hope you have a better harvest next year.