We heard that there was a frost coming, but very few of the plants currently out there needed protection. However, I was hoping to be able to help the potatoes through the night; they are very tender.
I piled leaves around the stems and draped a flannel sheet over the patch, but the freeze was deeper than just a little dip down to 32 degrees.
In the end, the measures I took weren’t enough. The stems of the potato plants (and the nasturtiums) turned to mush.
The good news is that, even though most of the spuds had only pushed plants up out of the ground a month or so ago, a couple had come up earlier, and there was a little harvest to dig up today.
When I had dug up last spring’s potatoes, I had saved some of the little ones in the fridge to replant in August. I was hoping to trick the little spuds into thinking that their dormancy period was over, but the trick only worked on a couple of them. I’ll have to rethink the plan next summer to figure out a way to get a more abundant autumn harvest. I’m pleased enough that the couple of early-birds produced a few spuds for us, and we are looking forward to eating them.
Along with the spuds, I brought in some broccoli to serve with tonight’s supper and a winter radish to have sliced thin and salted with our pre-dinner snacks. The potatoes will be for another day.
The freeze wasn’t hard enough to harm the cauliflower, which is good, because they are the most tender of the brassicas out in the yard. Broccoli and cabbages can take much lower temperatures without harm.
We had one of the cabbages – the first of the season! – with our Thanksgiving Day meal. There are more that are getting close to harvest-size.
Elsewhere in the garden, the garlic are still all below ground, but the shallots are coming up.
The lettuces are still perking away – but we’ve had a lot less of these than my bunnies have. Moonpie and her babies are pretty big lettuce-eaters.
Overall, I’d have to say that the yard made it through this first very late frost in good shape. The weird part is that it Really Was the First Frost! I think that the official UGA weather station in Dallas, GA, recorded a frost about a week ago, but it was on a night for which the temperatures were patchy – my yard made it through that earlier “frost” without any frost at all. Last night – the night of Nov. 24 – was the first for my yard.
I’m not going to complain (I usually expect a first frost around the end of October), but I will say that it’s weird.