Hard Frost comming to Kentucky

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This weekend's low temps are supposed to go way down. 40's for daytime and 25 for low Monday morning!!! I am still picking lots of tomatoes, peppers and strawberrys! It is comming to early. I still have little strawberry runners that haven't had time to root good yet. I planted about a 3 x 60 foot row with runners this year, and they are still very green and growing. The strawberrys are all over the plants. I quess the best thing is about a foot of straw on top with plastic on that untill the cold is gone, huh? I don't want everything to die yet, I usually have tomatoes till December. I have to go out today and pick EVERYTHING I can find and pray it all dosen't die. I tried sheets one year but it made the plants turn black. Any other ideas?

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@msn.com), October 06, 2000


Indiana's forecast is about the same. We have had some very light frost. I just picked the few remaining tomatoes and peppers. Seems sad doesn't it? Guess I need to dig up the lemon verbena, it won't survive winter even with mulch.

-- Cindy (atilrthehony_1@yahoo.com), October 06, 2000.

That happens even earlier in Wisconsin -- get out with the straw and plastic now, I'd say. I've covered some plants up with blankets and quilts from the house and had them squeak through because of the insulation protection, for a hard frost the sheets alone were never enough. I cut down my tomatoes last night, the ones in the hoop house that is and am doing the garage thing with them. Polar fleece too works great if you've got enough (I'm always buying yardages on sale). There is also a type of spun row-cover that is supposed to give protectiond down to 28 F., but you need to have already bought it -- looks like a night with every blanket in the garden to save it.

-- Julie Froelich (firefly1@nnex.net), October 06, 2000.

North Alabama is due the 30s Sat & Sun. We picked everything bear except the tomatoes I dug up and brought into the sun porch in 5 gal buckets. I dont know about anyone else, our garden is still producing lots of jalepenos, bell peppers, eggplant , okra and tomatoes and waiting for the freeze is like pulling the plug on someone.

-- Jay Blair (jayblair678@yahoo.com), October 06, 2000.

South Central VA is supposed to get into the mid 30's for Sunday night. We will supposduly only have a day time high in the upper 40's for Monday. And you know what? it was 90 yesterday and 86 today. We didn't plant a garden this yr due to my work. I plan on it next yr. But here is what i have done in the past to protect from frost. i place those ice cream or 5 gallon buckets over the top of the plants. I also have used cheap window plastic too. One tip I discovered. i pinch off the leafy stems of my tomatoe plants and then plant them in moist potting soil. They root and grow and by spring, which is April here, we have tomato plants for the garden and early tomatoes too... they produce within 5 weeks.

-- Bernice (geminigoats@yahoo.com), October 06, 2000.

I picked about 15 gallons of peppers and 10 of tomatoes. There are hundreds of big green tomatoes and little peppers. I wish I had a hot air balloon cloth to make a big tent! I have lots of extra wood stoves. But I know, its hard when this comes and everything is still going so good. Our trees have just started to change colors, just a little, and the geese haven't come yet. I'll get whatever I can to save the best tomatoes and peppers but my garden is so large, I can't save it all. I remember reading about putting field fence down the outside of the tomatoe rows and filling it all in with straw. I do have some 2 x 4 foot sheets of styrofoam Steve brough home one day from a construction site. I could make A frames. Hope all your gardens do ok too. Seems like the cold is going far south, isn't it. Tonight is just in the 40's but Monday morning is supposed to be the killer frost. And my pastures are knee deep in green grass.

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@msn.com), October 06, 2000.

How far south in KY. are you located. I'm about 50 mins. east of Cinti, OH. I think we're gonna be cold too.

-- Denise (jphammock@msn.com), October 06, 2000.

We have a water distributer in our town you know the kind that distribute the clear five gallon jugs for home use. I discovered that they throw out the bottles they call leakers. You can go by once a day and pick these up I cut off the bottoms and use them to protect plants. I can usually plant about 3 to 4 weeks before it is safe the opening in the top is handy for watering and some air circulation. When Im done I just string them on rope and hang them in the attic until I need them again

-- ronda (thejohnsons_doty@hotmail.com), October 06, 2000.

We are 50 miles south of Louisville.

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@msn.com), October 07, 2000.

Our forecast is for a freeze Sunday night too....but most everything around here has already been killed because of the drought so there's not much left it can hurt...I do have extra hay to bed down my rabbits (boy! they love to make tunnels!) and we'll cover the turnip greens and collards. suzy in north 'Bama

-- Suzy in 'Bama (slgt@yahoo.com), October 07, 2000.

Oh could I handle the frost just fine its the blipping SNOW they are calling for that bothers me ! Haven't nearly got everything done that we wanted to , ow well theres always next year .

-- Patty Gamble (fodfarms@slic.com), October 07, 2000.

Here in the missouri ozarks we have gone from record highs to yesterday and today and forecast for tomarrow of being in the 40's for records as the lowest high record. Sat and sun we are supposed to set record lows and one night not just by a degree but beating the old record by 9 degrees.

As I was unable to have a garden this year at least I don't have to worry about that. I have the animals ready so guess I will just keep the wood burning in the stove. Both the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are tested and working so guess I am ready.

Just hope that this is not an indicator of a long cold winter with the cost of gas, elec, and heating oil. Will really hurt a lot of people. Glad I have my woods.


-- gail missouri ozarks (gef123@hotmail.com), October 07, 2000.

Well, as of Sunday morning, the garden has left the building. Soooo sad, too soon for our area too. I saved some and the strawberrys. I used those Tyvek strofoam sheets to cover the strawberrys over a little straw. I held them down with boards. Works great, I forgot they were in the top of the garage. They were exactly as wide as my rows, I laid them side to side all the way up. Now I'm saving them for me for the garden. The asparagus looks fine, and the snap dragons are just as pretty. Morning glories are barely hangin' on. I'm not ready to say goodbye to all the flowers. How did all yours do?

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@msn.com), October 08, 2000.

Froze my buns in the bleachers at the football game Friday night - long johns, jeans, turtleneck, heavy sweater, winter coat and a quilt. I had brought along four extra blankets - friends of Jessie's had begged them all by two minutes into the first quarter - kind of cute to see those macho boys all snuggled up together sharing a comforter! The bank sign said 28 degrees as I went past on my way back to the farm. The kids were heading out to a party out in the country after the game, but were home - thawing out - by 11 pm. I had just made up a big batch of hot chocolate mix on Tuesday - now it's time to make some more!!

Got home from the game to find that Hubby had stuffed Bun's cage with straw and put the dogs in the shed for the night. I could see a big bundle of cats and kittens in one of the dog houses, and the chickens were all huddled together on their roost. Our town had a harvest type festival this past weekend, with a large straw maze as one of the attractions - I have a bunch of straw coming at $1 a bale. It's been rained on a time or two, but I had planned to use it all mulching the strawberries. I will probably stack some bales around the chicken tractor for insulation until the garden is cleaned up and I move it up by the shed for winter.

Got up Saturday morning and kissed my 'maters goodbye. Peppers still look okay for now, volunteer beans got bit to the ground; fall planted broccoli, spinach and swiss chard are only 5 or 6 inches tall - I don't expect much from them. The kids went for a ride on the four wheelers - one trip around the farm and they were in with tears in their eyes from the chill and the wind - more hot chocolate down the hatch!

Moved the chicken tractor up by the garden today and fenced off the tomato area and turned them out - first time they'd been out without a roof. Rooster lasted about an hour 'til he flew over the 4 foot tall fence and got nailed by Hazard (our big dog). Hens appear happy to stay in the fence. Told Hazard he was a bad dog, but didn't go too far with that, as he killed a big coyote not fifty yards from the edge of the yard at dusk last evening. Hubby saw him get it down and ran out with the rifle; Haz had already snapped it's neck so Hubby went ahead and put it down. Well nourished, nice healthy coat on it; so I figured Haz had probably saved the rest of the chickens - not to mention our old (15 1/5 y.o.) dog, the sheltie and the cats.

Spent today cooking up a big pot of calico bean soup and working on a new hutch for Bun. We're making it to fit over the width of the raised beds in the garden so that he can fertilize them for us. Guess I'll put it over those fall veggies so he can enjoy them. I also cut out another long uniform jumper for work - making it long enough that I can wear long johns and knee socks unnoticed. I was seriously eyeballing the white flannelette the last time I was at Wal-Mart - thinking about a petticoat for under my jumper. You'd think they'd keep hospitals warm enough to keep the staff from getting hypothermia - by 3 am, we're all about frozen!

Still have a little bit of winterizing to do, but the pantry and the propane tank are both full. I have some yarn ready to work on afgahns and some quilt blocks cut out - all I need is my winter store of books! We still have Indian Summer to look forward to, but I'm sure not looking forward to the time change - it will be lighter for a while as I'm driving home from work in the mornings, but I know that soon I will be driving to work and driving home in the dark. Oh well - I'll soon have my new issue of Countryside to read; and after that the new seed catalogs should be out and I will be dreaming of spring!

-- Polly (tigger@moultrie.com), October 08, 2000.

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