First Fall Frost

October 22, 2006

The vegetable garden was hit by the first killing fall frost last weekend. Goodbye nasturtiums, so long pole beans, farewell my Sweet Basil!

This would be a sad time indeed if it wasn’t for all of the frost-hardy vegetables, greens, and herbs that continue to grow happily in the garden’s raised beds.

Survivors of the First Fall Frost

Collard Greens PhotoThere’s the sage, parsley, rosemary, borage, chives, lovage, thyme, and calendula flowers that all survived and are growing comfortably in the perennial herb bed.

Even the pungent epazote escaped damage and is hiding underneath of the tall blossoming Mexican Sage plants. The raised beds are still green and full of maturing leafy greens, Brussels Sprouts, broccoli, turnips, and other frost hardy fall vegetable crops.

Frost Tender Plants are not as Fortunate

Photo of Frost Damaged NasturtiumsWhile I will miss all of the frost-sensitive plants that are doomed by the slightest touch of frost, the garden really wasn’t affected much by this sometimes somber garden experience.

The tomatoes, peppers, melons, and other heat loving plants that would have been devastated by making the acquaintance with Mr. Frost were removed from the garden weeks ago to make room for hardier fall and winter vegetables.

Life Goes On in the Fall Vegetable Garden

You would have to look pretty closely to notice the small amount of damage inflicted by our first fall frost of the season. And while there were frost warnings from the weatherman predicting the event, I didn’t make any efforts to prevent the consequences.

Fall Veggie Garden PhotoSure I could have covered frost sensitive plants with floating row covers, baskets, plastic material, or boxes, but their days were numbered regardless. I’d rather put the effort into maintaining the veggies that will be around and productive for a number of weeks or even months yet.

Making the Best of Autum Frosts

To be honest about it, I was actually happy to see this first fall frost arrive because it’s a sure sign that the leafy greens that fill most of the garden beds are ready to be harvested and enjoyed at their best. Frost has a way of sweetening and enhancing the flavor of leafy greens and other hardy fall vegetables.

So while the first fall frost can cause some distress for both the gardener and his or her cherished Photo of Frost Proof Calendula Flowerplants, it by no means signals a close to the growing season, the last flower blossom, or an end of the delicious, fresh produce waiting to be harvested and enjoyed out of the fall vegetable garden.

Other Related Vegetable Gardening Posts:

  • I love sweet basil, it’s one of my favorite herbs, I also have many herbs in my garden. We have it get down to 32, but all my herbs are still growing strong. My 3 year olds favorite drink right now is catnip tea with a little ginger in it.

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