Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Frost

September 3.  It was a little early, even for our high altitude climate.  The forecast was for a low of 40 and there was no frost warning.  Guess the meteorologists were wrong :)  

015Melon hoop tunnel. 

We had already rewrapped the vine crops and tomatoes in their plastic hoop houses a few days before.  It has been consistently dipping into the 40’s at night the last few weeks.  I was so thankful we had decided to do put the plastic back on, as many people lost their entire garden!


We use a clip/hoop system for the tunnels.  The clips and directions are from Pinetree Garden Seeds.  The tubing and rebar are from Lowes.  These tunnels are so easy to put up!  Plus.  Nothing blows away!  We have A LOT of wind.  It frequently gusts up to 50-60 mph, but our hoops and plastic have always stayed in place!


Happy plants under their tunnel.

Without the hoops and plastic we’d only be growing cold season crops.  Nothing against them, but who can resist a few tomatoes, cucumbers and melons?  Even if they are a bit of a gamble. . .

At 7200 feet, the summers aren’t very warm to start with, but over the last few years it has been trending even cooler.  Mainly, the nights have been much colder.  It may be 70-80 during the day, but doesn’t climb above 50 or so at night for the majority of the summer.  And even the daytime temps are often not that warm :(

When it’s too cool at night, everything still looks as healthy as can be, but the plants don’t really grow or ripen until night times are consistently into the 60’s.  

Which lasts, you know, for like 3 weeks. 

So anyway.  Here we are with the first frost behind us.  Snow is likely not far behind. . .  I’m still hoping we might have tomatoes, cucumbers and melons to harvest.  Cross your fingers with me?!



Diana said...

wow, I can hardly fathom a frost in early September! Our average frost date is Oct 15, but often we won't get a "killing" freeze until Thanksgiving or later. But I'm happy now to have a day in the 70's and nights in the 60's -- quite a change from the past 3 months of consistent 90+ temps! Still, like you say -- with less daylight our plants go into a holding pattern through the winter even if they can survive the freezes.

Sher said...

Yes, fall is in the air. It's been darn cold at night and we go from 90 to 60 in a 24 hour period.

As per your post below....think it's about time to make a quiche.

Beth said...

Wow! A Frost already - and here we are having a most belated heat-wave. Last year I did not "Winterize" until late November. You look well prepared!

pogonip said...

The tunnels are the only way for those of us with short growing seasons!

MissMOE said...

My fingers are crossed that you got your harvest. I'm also in an area that doesn't get much heat. Our hottest month is October, but by then the nights have cooled down. Your hoop tunnels look great.


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