Lows in the 30's tomorrow morning!

2ajsmamaSeptember 5, 2013

I've been keeping an eye on the forecast, was supposed to be low 40's but now they're saying 37 with a "feels like" temp of 33 for tomorrow morning. I've got some Remay but I don't know what weight, it's got holes in it, I cut 1 section before I realized there were 4 (3 seams) and have it hanging on the fence to protect the beans from the deer. Going to take that down today (DS is home from school so can help this morning) and put it over my tomatoes and/or peppers - but how thick to protect from those temps? It's very lightweight but it's the biggest thing I have.

I guess I can sacrifice the peppers, though they are looking great, no one wanted any at market last night, I can pick everything I have green though the bells haven't sized up, cherries are just starting to turn.

I'll pick whatever tomatoes are blushing too, but the hybrids near the house and the Rose de Berne out back are loaded with greenies, I'd like to cover those at least (only 6 or so Roses so 15ft of trellis, but they're in the middle of the row - can I use clothespins to hold the Reemay closed though I won't get an airtight seal?). Hybrids are all in 1 40-ish ft row, I figure I can drape Reemay over the 5ft high trellis and wrap, pin both ends and maybe weight the bottom edges to get a better "seal".

I'm assuming covering things early won't hurt since today will be cloudy with high only around 65.

What a year! Hope the weather's better next year, but I doubt the SWDs will be - which reminds me, I never mowed (or moved) or renovated the strawberries at all, no mulch, but the plants/foliage are so thick, you think they'll be OK without cover (maybe just lose some around the edges, and top foliage)? I guess I could use a tarp like I did in the spring...

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I've found that each layer will protect at least 2 degrees, even old cotton sheets will give that minimum. Our strawberries were usually didn't protect them, we had enough weeds and other foliage that fell over them and protected.

It's been very cool, but the forecasters have been off. forecasting for 40s and barely got down to 50 (which was cool enough to sleep well).

I'd protect what is selling the best first, and the worst selling last, if I only had so much coverings. Don't forget those old pillowcases, tablecloths and sheets are usable if cotton or not plastic.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 9:25AM
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Ugh, I forgot the raspberries and blackberries that are in full leaf. The raspberries will be fine (it doesn't look like we're getting a fall crop anyway) but the Triple Crown blackberries are still ripening. I'll pull the burlap off the rows (used for weed block, 2 layers of bags so 4 layers of burlap works well) and put them over the canes. TC aren't that hardy.

Guess I'll be pickling a lot of jalapenos - wish I had time to ripen the sweets. I don't care about cayenne - not sure why I even planted them since they don't sell. Just picked the last of the Little Leaf cukes, have pickles to make too.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:01AM
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I looked at Canaan, CT (as far NW as I could find), low of 37, real feel of 38, with some precip. You should be find, except maybe the peppers, eggplants or maybe tomatoes. The rest should be OK. It only lasts a short time, and will be gone quickly.

We have another heat wave coming your way.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:52AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Wow, cold snap already. To be real honest, I wouldn't cover anything. There is enough heat in the ground, I rather doubt you would get any frost. I don't get to worried about upper 30's for lows. However, you have to take in other accounts. Will it be cloudy? Will there be wind? How fast will it warm up the next morning? Is this the coldest night or are there more to come? I wouldn't pick anything, but the blushing tomatoes. If it did frost, you might loose the very outside leaves, but the fruits should be ok, as long as it warms up the next day.

If it was my house, we are on top of the hill and if they were saying 38, we would be in the low 40's. Also, if it will be clear overnight it will be colder. A breeze mixes the air. When it is calm, clear it will get COLD!

Exact opposite here, we are heating back up, in the 100's possibly by Saturday! We were in the 50's on Tuesday morning.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 12:07PM
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Jay, she should be getting the heat wave in a couple of days. Our lows lasted 2 nights but warmed up to 70/80s during the day.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 1:09PM
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Too late, we picked probably 100 lbs of tomatoes plus practically all the peppers tonight - did cover some pepper plants. Covered tomato plants that had lots of foliage with hay or Reemay after picking biggest lightest-colored fruit and laying them on th ground, just to see if rest of the fruit would size up and ripen. The "heat wave" will be high 70's mid-week but raining those 2 days (and pretty much the whole end of next week). At least tomorrow night low will be mid-40's and then we're back to 50's and near 60 lows, around 70 highs for the next 10 days. Seasonable is about 70/48.

Around here, if North Canton (06059), the closest town center, says one temp, we're about 4 degrees lower. It was only supposed to be below 40 for about 6 hours tomorrow morning, but I was worried those 6 hours would be enough to damage tomato fruit and kill pepper plants. I'll let you know about noon how everything fared.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 9:58PM
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It may be too late by the time you see this post, but I've found that for very light frosts, irrigating the evening beforehand works very well. It helps bring out the heat from the soil, and also forms a fog that protects tender crops from frost.

The weather sure is wacky this year. We had a cool July, and guess what we recorded up here this afternoon? 92 F!!! In Saskatchewan. Our normal high for this time of year is around 66. Our normal lows are around 45 by now, but we've been having night after night in the upper 50s. Well, it's nice for sure, but I wish we had had this heat in July.

This post was edited by Slimy_Okra on Fri, Sep 6, 13 at 0:13

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 12:11AM
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It was clear last night but I've never seen it *Warmer* here than what they predicted. The hourly said 37 yesterday for 6AM today, the daily said low was 36, when I got up 15 minutes ago it was 48, hourly says 7AM should be 46. Even if it was warmer on top of the hill, I can't believe that not only N. Canton was more than 10 degrees warmer than what they predicted yesterday, but the new forecast for this morning is 10 degrees warmer than what they were saying on the Hartford radio station yesterday! When they say 38 in Hartford, for sure it's going to frost/freeze here! DH checked Acuweather at dinner last night and they were saying 38 in N. Catnon so it's not just weather.com

What a wasted effort - now I have all these small bell peppers, unripe jalapenos and cherries to sell and all these green tomatoes to ripen. Oh yeah, and uncover all the plants we covered.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 6:53AM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Sorry to hear about the stress.
I've found that acuweather, weatherunderground and a few other weather sites use software that makes poor predictions for the extreme lows and highs.
I find that the NOAA site is the best option. When you find the closest weather station to use, then compare to your own readings and adjust.

I know that one of my fields will frost if the NOAA site says 37 F. But my other field won't until it hits 34.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Well, maybe not a wasted effort - Monday's low is supposed to be 45, watch it'll be mid-30's then LOL!

Got about half the tomatoes wrapped in newspaper and put in cardboard boxes on wire shelves. I have to get more boxes, and only have 2 shelves left (filled 6, boxes each have 2 layers of fruit) so I don't know where I'm going to put all the rest - set up 1 of my tables I don't usually bring to market and put boxes on that in basement, I also have some old wooden boxes I use for display, can put those open end up and put cardboard boxes on those so a little air underneath, maybe put some in attic. Just don't want them on concrete. Basement has dehumidifier. Maybe dining room table LOL?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 11:48AM
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if there are any weather stations near you and they record dew points, the dew point at mid day is that night's low. this works best when its clear out. you can find local weather stations here:

Here is a link that might be useful: local weather stations

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Thanks - I didn't know that. So all I have to do is wait until noon for them to post the dew point for the N. Canton station (about 3 miles from my house, all downhill) and that will be the low for the next 24 hours?

Got all the tomatoes in cardboard boxes on shelves - some berry boxes are stacked but not touching fruit below. I gave up on individually wrapping fruit but did make sure they weren't touching, laid 2 layers of paper on top and then put next layer of fruit in the hollows in between the lower fruits. Now I just have to check Tomato forum to see how often to check them - I do have them sorted by ripeness, with ripest ones in top layer.

Haven't gotten out to uncover the peppers yet (did take Reemay off the 1 long row of tomatoes) or take hay off those few tomato plants but since high was only 65 today I figured it could wait til morning. Gotta blanch 2 big bags of green beans (some left over from Wed!) and make pickles from cukes (in ice water) picked yesterday. Plus make dinner for the 3 of us, then another dinner for DS after he gets home from XC meet.

Did I mention that tomorrow is Open Farm Day and I have no brochures, photos, anything prepared to "introduce" people to my farm? I might just print up more business cards and treat it more as a market (I'm setting up at someone else's farm due to my driveway being in a different town). There's always next year.

So much to do, so little time!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 4:46PM
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