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Here Comes First Frost... Fast Suggestions?

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Here Comes First Frost... Fast Suggestions?

Post  jkahn2eb on 12/4/2011, 2:22 pm

10 Day Forecast
Sun 58/33, Mon 53/30, Tue 54/24, Wed 58/31, Thur 61/33, Fri-Tues 66/37

I have a about ten four-foot tomato plants with fruit that is big enough to pluck but nothing has turned color. Should I harvest and try to save the plants or should I accept that they are done for and even the warmup at the end of the week won't do much to generate additional fruit (isn't 70 degrees the fruiting temp?)

My basil is in the same boat - should I just cut it all down and store in the freezer or should I try for another week out of my three plants?

I'll be planting lots of lettuce and spinach in the tomato spots and sugar snap peas in a few other areas.

I have one, maybe two bedsheets. My mom said I could tape newspaper together but... is it worth it?

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Re: Here Comes First Frost... Fast Suggestions?

Post  martha on 12/4/2011, 3:10 pm

With those temperatures, I think you are done with the basil and tomatoes. Earlier this season, we had temperatures here that were probably one or two degrees above frost, and my basil didn't actually die. But the leaves that it continued to put out had very little flavor.

The tomatoes didn't do anything either. One is supposed to be able to pick green tomatoes and put them in paper bags to help them ripen. I haven't had luck with this, but I suspect that is because of insufficient monitoring on my part.

Seems to me it's worth a try, since otherwise, you will lose all the fruit that is on the vines.

Let us know what you decide and how it turns out!

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Re: Here Comes First Frost... Fast Suggestions?

Post  Guest on 12/4/2011, 3:20 pm

Surviving and thriving is two different things. I've read that temps under forty stunt the growth for a couple weeks until the plant recovers. Fruit-wise, I don't think you'll accomplish anything by covering them. You might save the plants though, and they might come back in the spring.

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Re: Here Comes First Frost... Fast Suggestions?

Post  sherryeo on 12/4/2011, 3:30 pm

I would either pot the basil & move it inside or cover it very well if left outside. We just had some frost - got down below 29 degrees - and my basil died. I hadn't covered it because I was so busy covering the tomatoes and eggplants and snap beans, etc.

I would, I think, at least pick some of the largest tomatoes for ripening indoors to at least minimize my possible losses - if you wanted to take a chance on covering and leaving any of them outside. I had 2 tomato plants growing - one with 3 small 'maters on it and one that is blooming like crazy. I had some brown leaves that I had to pick off my tomato and my eggplants, but they look good. I think they will make it, but I did cover them with sheets. Looks like you'll be getting even colder on at least one night, though.

I will probably get a good bit more warm weather, though, here. I don't know how your climate works. I'm hoping my 'maters might keep growing! Good luck and let us know what happens!

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Re: Here Comes First Frost... Fast Suggestions?

Post  jkahn2eb on 12/4/2011, 3:40 pm

Good note about the basil Martha. I think I'll cut and freeze today.

Went out and picked green tomatoes that had their stems curled way back up (am I right to assume it means it's done growing?). Also plucked the last remaining hot peppers out there and the 3 eggplant which look fantastic then ripped out the plants. There be holes in me garden! Will use the hot peppers in our tacos tonight.

Really happy with the queen siam basil. Can't wait for spring... Will likely get seedlings going even earlier in late Dec rather than mid January to get 'em even bigger before transplanting.

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Re: Here Comes First Frost... Fast Suggestions?

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