Who else is still frost-free?

don555(3a)September 21, 2011

Wow, Sept. 21 and still no frost in Edmonton's suburbs. Plus it looks like the next 5 days will be positively summery. Coldest I've measured so far is 2.7 degrees. Last year by this date we'd seen about -5 degrees. Much of the veggie garden has already been picked of course, but some of the winter squash could use a bit more warm weather, and the blackberry plants are absolutely loving this. Wondering where else the frost hasn't touched yet, or where people have managed to protect against it.

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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Still warm here in the city. Still have tomatoes on the vine and carrots to dig not to mention many DLs to get in the ground. Beautiful weather to finish fall clean up. :) Forecast is for 29 on Sunday! Wow!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 9:12AM
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ljpother(3a)

I don't want to mention it. Knock on wood. I haven't gotten a ripe tomato from half my plants. Most of my tomatoes are picked green. However, I need one ripe tomato from each variety to replace the seeds. I'm not sure if I can save seeds from tomatoes picked green.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 11:24AM
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shazam_z3

No frost in Calgary either. And hot weather coming up! Phew!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 1:34PM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

Still FF here, although it's certainly not what I would call warm by any stretch of the imagination. Nights are a llittle warmer than average, but days aren't.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 1:41PM
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diane_v_44(Z6)

and in Barrie, Ontario
Frost free
not much left in my vegetable garden but some eggplants and peppers Some real hot spicy ones that I am hoping have a little more time.
Roses having a second flush and Hydrangeas are gorgeous

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 9:10PM
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davidcalgary29(2b)

No frost yet in Peace River, although I've certainly seen lots of it in the surrounding countryside. I like to think that this somewhat makes up for our June snowfall this year...and my tomatoes have just turned red, too.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 11:30PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

We got frost in Saskatoon on Sept 13th, just a couple of days earlier than usual. That was a hard freeze that wiped out all uncovered tender crops. It was a blessing though, because I was able to plant a fall crop of spinach, kale and bok choy. I wanted to wait for frost, otherwise keeping up with the cabbage loopers and leaf miners is a real pain. I don't grow summer greens anymore.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 12:28AM
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kioni(3)

ljpother: Saving seed from green tomatoes: On the Growing Tomatoes forum here there is much talk/debate about ripening on the vine versus indoors, and that it's the seeds within the fruit that tell that tomato to ripen. According to some of the posters on the tomato forum, the tomato does not take much more from the plant in the form of nutrients to grow once it reaches the blush stage, so at first blush the fruit is picked to ripen indoors, above 50F, in a dark undisturbed spot, resting on it's shoulders (stem side down). But the green fruit should show "blush" which is described as the start of the pinking colour on it's belly button (blossom end). One site spoke of a white star pattern first appearing on the bottom of the tomato as the earliest that a green tomato could be picked and it will still ripen.

Last year, because I didn't get my plants into the ground until the first week of JULY, by mid September I had large 1 lb sized green fruits (brandywine variety) and had covered several evenings due to risk of frost, but finally I picked them all because the weather was to turn cold for a while (and I'd gotten tired of covering everything). When I set them in a towel lined tray (always thinking of the tomato's comfort), I noticed they all had the white star/asterix pattern on the bottom. Each and every greenie ripened fully, and they all tasted great, and were full flavoured, perfect, tomato sandwich tomatoes.

My suggestion is to watch the weather, and if necessary pick them and note which fruits have the star pattern or are beginning to colour, and let it fully ripen to collect your seed from.

Reason for the argument of picking early instead of vine ripening is because in some of the warmer states, the squirrels and raccoons will eat them before they are fully ripe! So gardeners can only wait until blush and pick for themselves. Plus if a heavy rain is expected and the fruit have started to blush, then the plant still takes up the extra moisture and delivers to all the fruits, but because the ones that are blushing are not to grow anymore, their skins cannot expand to accomodate the extra moisture, so then they crack.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 8:49PM
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andres_zone3

Frost free here in Edmonton! My cannas are continuing to bloom, roses are in second flush, butterfly bush is continuing but is past peak, asters and mums just starting to bloom. Hope this lasts until Mid-October!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 9:58PM
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shazam_z3

So apparently in the 134 years that records exist, there have only been seven Septembers in Calgary's history that have been frost free.

I like those odds :)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 1:23AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

We have had two light frosts but it didn't kill anything including my tomatoes or petunias. I wouldn't have thought we had one but I had to scrape it off my car.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 9:17AM
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xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)

It is frost free where I am in Calgary.
From the looks of the weather predictions----
we just may see a frost free September this year.
The tomatoes are still on the vine here,but
I check the weather each evening---prepared to run out and cover the plants.
Caroline

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:27AM
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shazam_z3

xaroline,

My thermostat outside never got below 15C last night! Amazing weather!!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:41AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

My Pole Beans and Zucchini started to grow again...had only a light frost, the tougher broad beans are still looking good, left the smaller one's on to mature...at least until a hard frost comes.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 2:04AM
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shazam_z3

Well everybody, sounds like there's frost tonight in Calgary. Time to pick the rest of the tomatoes.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 6:05PM
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don555(3a)

I had 1.9 for the low on my thermometer on the morning of the 29th but my thermometer is near our deck and it must have been a bit colder in the open-garden. Had some minor damage to pumpkin/squash/zucchini leaves, but marigolds were untouched. Not much left in the garden now anyways -- blackberries are pretty much finished, most pumpkin and squash are picked, some carrots and kale remain in the garden but they can take a pretty hard freeze, if the zucchini get wiped out by frost I think that would be a blessing :-)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 2:49AM
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twrosz

Had moderate frost in the backyard, though had barely touched the plants in the front ... though, the season is definitely over now with much cooler temps in the coming days. Wasn't the best of summers, though certainly also wasn't the worst.

Had turned on the infloor heating in the basement today, was only 14 C in the house.

Terrance

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 2:51PM
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don555(3a)

Wee hours of October 7 and still nothing but the very lightest of frosts in Edmonton suburbia, amazing! But with daytime highs lately about 9 degrees under cloudy and drizzly skies, it's hardly good-growing weather. Almost nothing left in the veggie garden now, time to switch to inside grow-light gardening for the winter!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 4:08AM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

No frost in my yard either. :) I'm impressed! Another warm Halloween would be nice for the kids. Last year we had 86 Trick or Treaters. Must string police tape around the new front garden, me thinks. ;)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 9:29AM
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ingami(z3b AB)

Not even a skiff of frost here either - I'm between Camrose and Stettler here in
Alberta. Chilly in the daytime some days although today was lovely and sunny, so got a few extra fall gardening things done. I'm not expecting this to last much longer, but every day like this is a treat!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 9:10PM
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davidcalgary29(2b)

Well, my SO reports that we finally got frost in Peace River last night. I pulled up all of my warm season crops in early September with the expectation that they'd be frost-killed within days, but I should've waited. I'm certainly going to push the season next year.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 11:44PM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

This morning I see we had our first hard frost. I've been pulling plants like crazy, thinking it would hit any day for the past 5 weeks. The only think our couple of light frosts had done in, though, was some of the dahlias, the shoo-fly, pumpkins, and beans.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 12:11PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Still no frost here but tonight may be a different story. Pretty chilly at 6 am. My tomatoes are coming in today. Thankful for the beautiful fall we have had. And everything else today!! :) :)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 12:25PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Looks like I'll be losing all my mass of blooms tonight.

It's been a real treat having them so fresh and perfect until this time of year =:)

I guess a late spring planting isn't always bad.......

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 4:14PM
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twrosz

Still no killing frost and much of the stuff remains looking good, though the forecast is very soon calling for some rather chilly daytime highs ... so, won't be long before the rest gets removed and composted. This is pretty much one of the longest (though, not the best) growing seasons I recall.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 8:44PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

We've had several light frosts but I still have some green hostas and my tomatoes are still producing and ripening, although some stems have been killed off. Like Terry this is one of our longest growing seasons but not a good one, it was way too dry all summer. My huge spruce trees are stressed and have lost a lot of needles.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 8:27PM
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twrosz

Here's some pics from yesterday, was a really nice sunny mild day and still no hard frost :)

Northspruce, we had the opposite in most of Alberta, it was soooo very wet and cool until August! The trees had grown very well.

White mutant form of 'Rosalyne' everbearing strawberry ... I also have a variegated form of 'Aromas' that has come forth, though time will tell if it proves to be worthy.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 11:45PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

I thought on October 9th I was going to lose everything, but it didn't get as cold as expected. Other than covering those two days in September, it's been really nice here.

I picked a bowl of strawberries two days ago, and the only annuals I've pulled are the zinnias. According to the forecast things will be toast by the weekend. The lavatera are still blooming profusely, so they won't get the chance to go to seed.

twrosz - Isn't it wonderful to have blooms and berries at this time of year ? =:)

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 12:17AM
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don555(3a)

Wow, mid-October and the coldest temperature I've recorded this fall in my suburban backyard is +1.4 C... amazing. This must be a record or near-record for the latest date of the first autumn frost in Edmonton!

The garden is now mostly cleared out, but the lingering clematis, marigold and California poppy blooms are much appreciated.

I guess the long, mild Fall is payback for our very late Spring... LOL, remember this??? -- April 11:

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 3:19AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I think we need to report Don for abusing this forum.... :>

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 8:41AM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

I agree with Marcia.

Isn't there a gardening criminal code or something?

Don ! Shame on you, LOL =:D

Back to the original frost free question. Forecast calls for -2 and -3 in the next few days or so =:( I guess that's all she wrote for this year.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 10:40AM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Looks like we are getting cooler too. I still have lillies that have not arrived from Veseys and spring bulbs to finish up. Also have to dig my carrots! About 3 solid days work yet.......hope it doesn't s***......

Ginny

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 11:04AM
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xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)

The Black Lace Elder is really drooping this morning.
But I am still planting tulip bulbs---hopefully the ground will not freeze anytime soon.
Caroline

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 11:52AM
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twrosz

Well, the first hard killing frost has now occurred and being a full month later in comparison to last year ... 2011 being the longest frost free growing season I can recall ... though, definitely not a stellar one in that early to mid summer was terribly WET and cool in my region.

I always say, if only we could until mid October, then I'd be happy, which I am ... now time to finish the clean up of the garden and flowerbeds ...

Now, if only we can go without snow until mid to late November or longer :)

Terrance

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 2:41PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Sorry you got frost Terry. :( We didn't get any in the city yet. I still have much to do and am still waiting for an order of lilies. I just hope me health holds up to get everything done. Not doing great these last few weeks.

Maybe our climate is changing. We sure have had a few long cold springs and summers lately. Hmmmm...

Ginny

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 4:21PM
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ingami(z3b AB)

Well, last night the Alocasia and mirabilis froze, limp and transparent, at least the four o'clocks were, but other than a few droopy leaves here and there, still not a truly hard frost, I guess I'd have to say. Almost relieved that I can take care of the bulbs/corms/roots of these plants now and get them ready for winter storage. It's nice to see so much still blooming but here and there I'm just pulling up annuals because it's been so dry that some are ready for a good watering and I'm not going that far in keeping them this time of year! I'm tossing a few seed heads about though, for seedlings here and there in the spring. I love most of the self seeding things...

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 5:15PM
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twrosz

Ginny, I'm eager to begin cleaning the beds and and can say I'm actually glad we've now had a killing frost .... besides, the Weather Network is now calling for highs of only 4 C by Thursday, ugh! Lots to get accomplished in the weeks to follow and sure hope the weather will remain decently cooperative well into November.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 9:20PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

OK. That's it for this year! Heavy frost last night. October 16th. that's pretty good.

Now the real clean up begins. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for a bit longer. :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 9:55AM
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shazam_z3

Finally snowed for real today in Calgary.

For some reason it's okay this year. Some years I'm just dying when it starts to snow.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 4:53PM
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Pudge 2b

I'm a little worried about my willow trees that are still full of leaves hanging on tight - too much snow before they fall may start breaking branches.

Our lowest low so far has been -6, I think my parsley is still surviving out there.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 5:08PM
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twrosz

Haven't yet even seen a flake of snow here this autumn and Edmonton will break the record (I believe it is Nov. 6th) for the latest first snowfall of the season ... honestly, for myself the longer it stays away the better! ... Though, when bitter cold does descend, then I'm always hoping for a good dump of snow to protect my plants!

Pudge, my parsley had survived last winter and flowered and produced lots of seed.

Terrance

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 10:39PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Terry ~ I have a picture my brother took on Christmas Eve in I think 1967 or 68 of the front of the house with no snow. Don't know if we had any and it melted but I do know it was brown as brown can be! Myself, I prefer snow if it is going to be cold just because it feels warmer. :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 1:26AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

We spent a Christmas in the mid to late '90s in Thunder Bay and there was little to no snow. We walked to midnight mass with our coats open. :)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 8:18AM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Call me crazy but I was harvesting greens from my low tunnels today. I had to shovel the snow aside and dig around with my bare hands (to remove the ground staples) to get at them.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 8:26PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Been digging out kale in January under a couple feet of snow, now I try to put it in the freezer well before that.

The killer frost came a couple of day's ago, I was in shock when we came home from a china trip last sunday to see the hanging baskets still in bloom.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 10:38PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

I bet your freezer is warmer than Edmonton in January ;)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 10:57PM
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