It’s that time of the again when we await the first frost.. is it going to be tonight? Tomorrow? The next night? Awaiting the first frost is a bit panicking for a gardener as you need to choose when to pick your vegetables. Leaving some peppers up on a plant that has to endure a night of frost is going to leave you with some not so great tasting peppers. As the temperature drops here and each night makes me add more layers of clothing, we had to prepare the garden for a possible night of frost. Although it kills us to pick vegetables that haven’t reached to their full size, and say goodbye to plants that you see producing new flowers, it has to be done. Even if it doesn’t frost, I think it’s better safe than to be sorry. A basket full of half size peppers is better than no peppers at all.
Every morning when we wake up, we check the weather immediately. Our eyes go straight to the “Low” temperature. A few days ago we saw that our area was nearing freezing so we held hands, closed our eyes, said a few words that I won’t repeat and then headed to the garden to pick many of our vegetables that we had to close down for the year.
Green Peppers – The warriors of the garden. The biggest and most beautiful peppers came from these plants this year so it broke my heart to pick them. What even hurt me more was to see all the baby peppers that were trying to grow big.
Tomatoes – The plant we anxiously await for to welcome in summer. The tomato harvest this year was great and provided so many sauces and tomatoes to last us through the winter. The plants tried their best to make it through the cold, but so many green tomatoes had to be picked. Not one to let a tomato go to waste, these will be enjoyed.
Soy Beans – This was batch 2 of the soybeans this year. We planted these in the 4×4 boxes for the 2nd round and they gave us many beans. Upon picking our final soybeans of the year, they will be frozen and put into recipes and snacked on for the next few months.
Sugar Snap Peas – This was the 2nd batch of peas this year as well. They are a favorite and provide so many great dinner recipes. These peas will stay on the fence all winter to dry and then in the Spring we’ll clean off the fences and replant the next batch to climb up.
Cucumbers – The big winners of the garden this year, these are also 2nd batch plants and they grew so amazing. We picked so many cucumbers this year and will be eating pickles for a long time. This was our first year growing them and we’ll definitely see them again next year.
Here are many pounds of green peppers we picked of all sizes:
Pretty peppers that we’ll be canning as well as making some fresh casseroles with soon.
And a whole bowl of red tomatoes to make one more batch of sauce to freeze.
We have bags and bags full of sugar snap peas. I promised Matthew’s pasta dish he makes with sugar snap peas a while ago, but it’s coming soon (I promise!).
The spinach plant checked out a few more weeks. This is New Zealand Spinach and it grows well in heat which is unusual for Spinach. Once cold temperatures started to be felt, the Spinach said goodbye. This variety of Spinach was another surprise success this year.
So that’s the vegetables that had to be picked before frost hit. The garden is still open though to some vegetables that can handle a bit of cold weather. The broccoli and cauliflower will be growing a few more weeks and if needed, live under greenhouses to survive a sudden winter storm. The carrots are protected growing in the soil and will last a few more weeks. The Pak Choi and Brussels Sprouts are hearty, so much that the Sprouts can live through snowstorms unprotected.
And least but definitely not last, one of the garden favorites and loves, broccoli. We planted the broccoli in 2 batches this Fall so they are spread apart by a few weeks. This is definitely the way to go so it’s not 16 big broccoli heads to pick in one day and then panic on eating.
Aren’t they just the nicest broccoli you ever met?
Enjoy your first weekend of November!