We had a narrow escape last night? I knew it was going to be cold last night. I listen religiously to the NOAH weather radio every morning to keep track on the weather; rain, hail and yes, frost. Shiver. I know there’s weather on the telivision news and local weather on all the FM stations we listen to. But when I really want to know what might happen, I trust the NOAH weather radio. (Yes, they’ve been wrong. But not too often.)
So when it began to get dark, I was expecting to have a low of about 37 degrees. But then it suddenly began to get REAL cold, pretty early, too. And David came home from haying and said he’d heard that we would be down to 32 degrees. Eeeeek. Only a few degrees, but oh so much difference!
We’ve still got the huge tarps, but with David’s close escape with the flesh eating bacteria right at tomato staking time, my tomatoes didn’t get staked like they should and would not hold up a tarp without shoving over the plants. And never mind the watermelons, muskmelons, squash and peppers. Because the garden is so much larger, covering them is more chore than a few minutes in the twilight.
It got darker. Then there was this hush to the crisp air. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky to help us. Suddenly you could almost hear the moon rising in the east. Huge and round, only a day past full. Oh boy. Nearly all our killing frosts happen on or very near the full moon. Why? I don’t know. But it’s true. And the night was crispy clear, just asking for it.
Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep last night. I don’t know what good that did. Yes, I could have turned on the sprinklers before the sun rose, wetting the frosting plants. This works more than 50% of the time. If you get them sprinkled BEFORE the sun comes up. After it’s daylight, it’s too late; the plants are toast.
At 5:30 AM it was 42 and no sign of frost yet. At 6:30 the sun was peeking up and it was 36. Whew! We made it. I walked barefoot down to the garden, ooching and ouching over the rocks. I had to touch the plants before I felt safe. They were happy and morning soft. The killer moon had not found my garden!
I’ve posted readers questions with my answers below:
Jackie for President/ Canning Patty Pan squash
I just found you and am already enamored. Would you consider running for President? Down to business. I have raised patty pan squash this year. Good harvest and need a canning recipe. It’s a more delicate flavor than summer squash so I wasn’t sure whether I should use a different recipe.
Mary L. Schleicher
Gig Harbor, Washington
Me? Run for President??? Are you crazy??? And get involved with all those nut cases that run our country? I can’t lie that well. Smirk. Thank you for the vote, anyhow. You can home can patty pan squash just like any summer squash. I like them best canned whole when they are about two inches in diameter. This leaves them more solid and they don’t get mushy. — Jackie
Maybe this is a dumb question, but here goes anyway. Earlier in the summer the geese got out and had a fine dinner on the tender shoots of the broccoli plants. So, they grew hugh leaves and little
bitty heads . I guess the plants thought they had already done their job of making heads. So, now these plants have great leaves. Can I cook and use these leaves like cabbage? Don’t want the whole effort to go to waste but I’m not sure if the leaves are really eatible.
Yes, broccoli leaves are edible. But if you keep those little heads picked off, you’ll be amazed at how many larger side shoots develop. Sometimes the side shoots are nearly as large as the main head. So don’t give up on your plants yet! — Jackie