Friday, September 16, 2011

Now Dead, Summer is Buried

Even though we were promised that we could expect the first hard freeze around September 15 on a bad year, September 12 found us with a frost advisory for the nights of the 13th and 14th. At first they were predicting temps dropping into the lower 30's, but by the time the cold front arrived, the predicted lows were all the way down to 26.

Grrrrrrrrrr! This is not acceptable, people! I have a garden here!

After a very late planting due to the heavy rains, my tomatoes were just barely beginning to turn orange on a few of them. I was so not ready for them to pass this mortal coil. If it had been a solid block of bad weather, I could have gritted my teeth and given in, but after only 2 days, the temps were supposed to head back into the 70's in the day and high 40's at night. If I could just get them through it!

My flower pots were easy, they could just be moved inside until the cold snap was over. And I would have a very aromatic entryway from all the herbs. Not much walking space, but it would smell great.

Tuesday night was the first night of freeze, and the worst. I rushed home from Williston, arriving shortly before sundown and dashed up to the attic to get blankets. I took pictures of my flowers and garden in case this was the last time I ever got to see them, then covered them over with warm, fluffy comforters and sheets of plastic.

Now shrouded in fabric, my rows of vegetables were fitting symbols of the corpse of summer. I felt like I should hold a wake or something, but instead went off to bed to have nightmares of dead tomatoes.

They seemed to survive the first night, but had one more to go before they would be in the clear. Yesterday I uncovered them to find that the tops of the hardier plants, tomatoes included were slightly singed where they'd touched the blankets, but other than that they were fine. The broad leaf plants such as the squash were pretty trashed, but have a few of the younger leaves left. Hopefully enough to keep the plants going another couple weeks. Then it will be time to say good-by for another year.

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