Frost? Freeze?

elkwc(6b)April 7, 2012

I'm seeing everything from 33-40 for tomorrow morning depending on which forecast I look at. I have the cold frame closed and covered with blankets. I have floating row cover over everything but the garlic and onions. I will plug the heater in the lean to in although I think I would be fine without it. After tonight they don't show anything for 2 weeks. I will start dropping plants in the ground tomorrow and plant some corn tomorrow also. They are showing more moderate seasonal temps and no upper 80's or 90's. And rain several days mid week. Of course we all know the forecasts can change in a matter of hours. I feel good about everything making it even if there is a brief dip below 30. And I have a low spot on the west end of my main garden area that tends to be cooler. Jay

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Oh Jay, I hope things don't freeze. I hate to have to cover things, but sometimes you just have to play the game. Our low for tonight is 49 and I took some peppers back inside. One tray is small and the others that I bought probably had not been hardened off, so I am playing it safe with those. It seems like I have to cover things almost every year, but so far this year the only things I have needed to protect were not yet in the ground.

We got a nice rain today of 85/100, so it will be a couple of days before I can add anything else to the garden. I have a few squash coming up, but they are in a raised bed and have Agribon over them. Although it was done for insect protection, it should give a few degrees of temp protection also. I put cucumber seeds in the ground yesterday so the rain should be just right for them. I'm not seeing a night time temp lower than mid 40's and days are mostly in the 70's. I hope I have waited long enough. If not, I have plenty of cuke seeds to replace the ones I planted.

I have 25 tomato plants in the ground and some in containers. I don't think I am finished, but space is getting tight. I am thinking that I will plant about six more plants in the ground and save the rest of my space for peppers,okra and herbs. I hope I can snag some herbs at the Fling, especially oregano and rosemary. I will direct seed basil and dill and a few things like that soon.

I have room for 2 more trellised crops, then after that, I will have to wait until the Spring crops come out so I can put in the hot season things. No faster than my cool season things are growing, I will need to have transplants ready for the ground, I think.

It's 1 AM and it looks like your temp is still in the mid-forty range, so maybe you are going to be OK. Hope so.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 2:03AM
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I have been carrying in my plants in at night. I only have 28 total ready to plant, but the ground is not ready yet. I am trying to sift the compost to get the plastic out, it is taking FOREVER. I had 6 yards to sift and am down to under 3.

I am so far behind that I may be working on my garden next Christmas.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 8:16AM
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It looks like 37 was the low here. I didn't find any sign of frost anywhere. So feel everything is fine. I may leave some of the row cover on for a few more days. Some things seem to do better under it as they have some wind protection that way. We had frost I believe it was Wed morning when our low was 35. The NWS didn't issue a warning then and both the Amarillo and Dodge City did this time and said it could be 3-5 degrees colder than Wed morning. I felt things might be ok but when you have the covers, ect it is better to use them than to be sorry later. As soon as it warms up a few more degrees I will pull the covers off the cold frame. For now I appear safe till the early part of May but I know that could and probably will change. I'm heading out to finish preparing my corn rows and will put in a short row of it. Then going to pull the 60% shade off my lean to as it doesn't allow enough light through. I will move the 40% up to the top till the 50% I ordered arrives. A learning process. And may drop in a few mater plants later. Have an Easter dinner to attend at noon also. What a different winter and spring so far. Temps do look more normal for sometime. Which should allow for some good growing conditions for the plants I put in the ground now. Jay

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 8:56AM
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soonergrandmom I'm coming to the swap and will reserve you the rosemary and oregano I propagated by layering last year if you want them.

I haven't put my peppers in the ground yet but also haven't brought any indoors at night, so I'm not sure I have really achieved anything there;0

I'm definitely waiting a little later for eggplants, but the varieties I was going to buy are all gone now. I was looking for some of the long ones that did so well for me last year.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 10:42AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


I'm glad that your garden wasn't hit by frost or even a freeze. I did notice a couple of mesonet stations in NW OK recorded low temperatures of 32 and 33.

Our overnight low here was 59 and I guess that's the good news. The "bad" news is that it is pouring down rain. Rain is good, but big downpours during planting time are frustrating. The lower end of the garden was finally dry enough to plant, but it won't be now. I guess I'll switch to planting in containers this week.

I love having Agribon in the barn so I can cover up anything that needs it if cold weather threatens. It is worth its weight in gold solely for the peace of mind it gives you. I only covered up the tomatoes one time after I transplanted them into the ground when we were going down to around 40 degrees and I was worried we'd hit 37 or 38 and have a frost. (We didn't.)

I haven't had to cover plants very much this year, although I did cover up the 4 tomato plants in the 200-gallon stock tank on a few cold nights, including one night that went down to 23 degrees. They were planted in late Feb. and I knew I'd have to cover them a few times. I gave them a double layer of row cover the night it went down to 23.

Larry, Hey, it is a good year when we can continue gardening until Christmas. : ) I do hope you're able to catch up on your sifting and planting soon. It is raining here so I am going to get behind on planned planting chores this week.

Carol, I wish my soil would drain as well as yours. With the rain that's falling today, I likely won't be able to plant for a week or two depending on how much rain falls. All the raised beds are completely planted and I cannot squeeze in one more plant, so I'll have to be patient and wait for the grade-level soil to dry out some before I can sow seeds or they'll rot in the wet clay.

Betty, My peppers have been out in the greenhouse forever, but I have carried them into the well-insulated garage on any night I thought the overnight lows would fall below 45. I had hoped to plant them today, but the rain that's falling wipes out that plan. It is early yet in terms of planting by the calendar dates, so I am not worried. I do kinda wish they already were in the ground with the tomato plants, but that just didn't happen.

If this rain keeps falling, maybe I should plant rice where the peppers were supposed to be planted today.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 12:40PM
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Betty, Yes on the oregano and rosemary. That would be wonderful.

Dawn, I only have one place that stays really wet and that is because it gets a 'double dose' when it rains. The french drain dumps the extra water in one spot in my garden. The spot is being held for peppers, and I'm not ready to plant those yet. The rest of my garden should be fine for planting in a couple of days. I didn't get to mulch around the last ten tomato plants before the rain came, but they were in the ground and had PVC pipe around them which should have protected them from soil splash somewhat. I haven't labeled the cages and I have to do that soon before the name sticks start fading away.

Dawn, I know I planted Ildi, but I am not sure I ended up with a plant. If you have an extra, I would love to have it. I'll go through mine once more and make sure I didn't miss it, but I really think I just don't have one.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 7:26PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I think I have an extra Ildi, Carol. I'll go through the flats of back-up plants tomorrow and make sure. I'll let you know after I find it and mark it with your name.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 7:30PM
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I transplanted ten tomato plants this evening. Wanted to get 18 in today but didn't make it. I put these in WOW's. When they are used up I will start using the 5 gallon plastic buckets with the bottoms cut out. I had to do something with those that got so leggy in the lean to with the 60% shade cloth on the top. The 50% aluminet I ordered isn't here yet. So I moved the 40% aluminet to the top today. I changed my set up some and installed a large fan in the door way on a thermostat control. Hopefully the temps moderate some like they say and I can keep the temps manageable. The 40% lets in a lot more sunlight and I feel will help the plants a great deal. I also planted 3 cool soil tolerant sweet corn varieties today. Wanted to plant beans as I have volunteers coming up but didn't get to that. I moved two volunteer squash plants last evening and put plastic coffee containers around them. I picked up Ben my BIL's special brother and we went out and ate at my sisters. I came back a short while after I ate. She called around 7 telling me I had better come out and eat again or she wouldn't cook for me again. I told her if I did she might not get any tomatoes or sweet corn this year as that was what I was doing. So she decided I could just keep planting. I'm going to go water all the plants and then pot up peppers till time to hit the hay. Was a beautiful day here. I think around 76. They are saying 47 for a low tonight and then 50's for lows at least till Thursday night. Highs this week are supposed to be the 60's and 70's. I may pay for jumping the gun but I had to do something with the leggier plants and I just have a feeling I might get by with it this year. I have plenty of Agribon and blankets if needed. The plants in the cold frame are growing slower than those in the lean to but not as leggy. I hope changing the shade cloth will help. Jay

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 10:25PM
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