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Questions related to the first freeze of the season

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Questions related to the first freeze of the season

Post  Khrishna on 11/2/2011, 4:28 pm

Tonight it's getting down into the 30s and then for tomorrow night they are forecasting a low of 29 and I think they said "hard freeze." I have plants covered in green tomatoes, poblanos and jalapenos, and also some small heads of lettuce plus good sized chard and beet greens. Should I pull it all up before the freeze? Will any of it survive if I just cover it with sheets? Any chance that the tomatoes will make it past the green stage this year? Seems like they've been green forever! I'd hate to pull everything up and then have the temps rise again for another month or something, but I'd hate it worse if I lost it all. Right now I could at least make some green tomato relish or chow chow or something.

Also I have strawberry plants that I need to bed for the winter. And I just planted some garlic. I was just going to mulch them both in with some hay. Is that good enough?

One last question, does oregano overwinter or do you have to replant it every year?

Thanks for any help (as always)!
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Re: Questions related to the first freeze of the season

Post  stripesmom on 11/2/2011, 10:09 pm

I'm not sure what you've decided, sorry it's so late in the evening. The tomatoes will be ok with a sheet as long as it's not a hard freeze. The poblanos and jalepeno's don't do well with cold, you could try covering them, but don't be surprised if they don't make it if it goes below 30 even with a sheet. Chard and lettuce will be ok if they are covered. I covered my tomatoes when it was down to 30 and they did survive, but they don't taste as good as they did before they got that cold. The texture is still ok, they just aren't sweet.

Strawberries do better with some straw over the winter. Hay tends to have seeds that will grow more hay. Although, that does depend on the quality. On the other hand, I've had strawberries not mulched in the winter and they did fine. I live in Iowa and it gets colder here than where you are.

I think oregano will not over winter-it's a perinneal. If you can, pot it up and bring it in the house.
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Re: Questions related to the first freeze of the season

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 11/3/2011, 10:42 am

There's also never a guarantee that the first freeze will happen...or kill. Cover them up and check the results in the morning. Often times, once you survive the first frosts/freezes, the weather warms back up and gives you a decent amount of time to continue gardening before the winter really sets in.
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Re: Questions related to the first freeze of the season

Post  Khrishna on 11/4/2011, 9:34 pm

Thanks so much. I posted this question here and also on my blog and got mixed answers. I decided to harvest all the poblanos, and bring the jalapeno plant indoors. I left the tomatoes on the plants and covered them, but unfortunately the plants didn't survive. I picked the tomatoes and brought them indoors anyway, but I will probably wind up just composting most of them. I read somewhere that you should not use tomatoes that have been exposed to a freeze for canning, and there's too many to use up as fried green tomatoes, and all the recipes I can find for things like green tomato relish or chow chow are canning recipes. Live and learn, I suppose! Rolling Eyes
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Re: Questions related to the first freeze of the season

Post  stripesmom on 11/5/2011, 8:28 am

Somebody posted this to me awhile back about refrigerator pickled green tomatoes. I didn't try this, because by the time I did pick my green tomatoes, there weren't any left I wanted to fool around with. But, you might try it and see how they turn out.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-goldwyn/pickled-green-tomatoes-recipe_b_754850.html?ncid=wsc-huffpost-cards-image
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