Sunday, October 20, 2013

Early Frost

Coco Loves Peanut Butter!

Around here we aren't supposed to get our first freeze until around the first week in November. That's what they keep saying anyway.  That didn't work out to for us well last year.  We got a surprise freeze in the middle of October and everything in the garden froze.  Things happen.... We figured it was just a freak thing because the temps went right back up to normal for several weeks.  Well, as luck would have it this past Friday night we had a cold front move in and the forecasters were calling for a possible overnight freeze out here where we are.  It also brought in some seriously cold rain before dark. 

What do you do?  Well, we got out there in our raincoats and picked as much as we could ahead of a possible freeze.  We stripped all the pepper plants of fruit and picked as much squash as was ready to pick.  We started getting some of the tomatoes pulled off the vines but I got soooo cold and wet out there I finally said no more.  I called Uncle and went in the house to get warmed up and dried off.  It's not like we've not been blessed with a wonderful year for tomatoes. 

We didn't get a hard freeze but we did get a pretty heavy frost.  It was enough to kill off the squash and the pumpkins. 

The peppers look as though they'll probably come back. 

And the tomatoes .... well parts of the plants were burned pretty badly but there is still good growth mixed in with it that didn't freeze.  I don't know if the tomatoes that are still on the vine will do anything but I'm going to let them alone and take a wait and see approach.

So now I've got all kinds of peppers and squash that I need to get put up. I've got both of my dehydrators filled with serranos, hot banana peppers, cayenne (both red and green), jalapenos and haberneros.  16 trays.  I'll be hauling out the canner later on today and get the yellow squash canned up.

Some folks say that you can't can yellow squash. That it gets to soft in the canning process.  Have you ever seen yellow squash in cans at the grocery store?  I have.  Shoot, I've even bought it several times.  We happen to love squash even if it is sorta squishy, the flavors still spot on. This year I've experimented with chunks instead of slices in hopes that it won't totally fall apart.  I haven't opened any of it yet to find out yet but I'll try to remember to let you know how it comes out. 

Last years early freeze and then this years frost have me wondering if maybe we should look into some row covers.  What I've seen out there is pretty pricey though so I'll start poking around and see if I can come up with something more in our price range.  I've been told that using row covers on the squash helps dramatically decrease the  @#^% squash bugs too. 

I have to laugh.  We were having such good luck keeping down those #@$* squash bugs with the Eight.  And then they freeze. Go figure!


  1. miss visiting, but love peeking in again

    1. well girl, pull up a chair and sit awhile. I've got coffee on and some cookies in the cookie jar

  2. That's a sweet photo of Cocoa. :-)

  3. Sci,

    Oh I feel your pain, you have a lot of work ahead with canning and dehydrating the last of your garden.

    Will you be pulling up the remnant's of squash, peppers, and tomatoes plants in preparation for springs garden?

    It's been pretty cold, the night before last it poured and thundered pretty bad, made the path to walk through our garden boxes nasty. My squash is shot from the cold weather, I'm still picking green beans, and the pea's still have flowers no pods yet.
    I'm also getting ready to pick the remaining peppers off the plants. A friend of mine cut back his pepper plants to about 2 inches in height and let them go on growing. He lives in the south, I believe Florida. I'm going to try to cut a couple of my pepper plants down, place buckets over them for the winter and see how they do.

  4. I canned yellow squash last year. (Which was my first year to can anything.) It's not bad. Good for casseroles or dressing. We found we like it best mixed in with a thick corn bread batter and dropped spoonful in hot grease. Kind of like a squash hoe cake.

  5. ohh that stinks. But the Farmers Almanac did say winter was going to be brutal this year, especially in the mid-section of the country.
    For us in the Southeast, it will be wet and cold. brrrrr..
    Before we left Carolina from our weekend visit, we shut off all the water and drained the lines, because next weekend it is suppose to be in the 30s there.
    Good Luck with your garden.

    oh, my fat crosseyed cat loves Peanut butter too, and ice cream....

  6. Old sheets help with frost, if you can find them at thrift stores, etc.

    1. Thanks! I'll have to start keeping my eye out for some.