Saturday, October 28, 2017

Winter is coming

We’ll have a first freeze tomorrow night, if predictions hold. After an abnormally warm fall, it’s a bit of a shock, but welcome. Average first frost temperatures describe a fairly wide amplitude, but it’s clear that the timing is later than it used to be.

If you’re a gardener, and in your early 60’s, like me, you’ve been paying attention to fall and spring frost/freeze dates for a long time.

I realized that my favorite Clemson vegetable gardening fact sheet, that helped me become a better year-round vegetable gardener years ago, was extremely conservative around when to plant in spring and how late we could plant in fall (uh, it was because it was older data around frosts and freezes)...

Of course, fall vegetable gardening really depends on planting in late summer and harvesting in fall, but we can really push the envelope through season extension and overwintering hardy greens (whether with protection or not).

Traveling limited my fall planting; only the argula germinated (presumably the spinach seed was a bit too old or young seedlings succumbed to drought stress!); but transplants of kale, collards, and broccoli are doing fine, as is the Swiss chard, most of which is rebounding after a cool summer.

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Blogger Beth at PlantPostings said...

We'll have our first frost AND first freeze tonight. I'm sure things will look much different tomorrow morning. It has to happen sometime, I guess. Our first frost has gotten later over the years, too. Good post!

October 28, 2017 at 9:30 PM  

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