Forecast now shows lows of 34 for Friday and Saturday nights. Are we done for good now? Mine made it through last week just fine, but it looks like now it's going to get even colder this week.
Jeremy, I don't know what the immediate future holds for Denver but this is the end of the line for my gardens up here 800 miles to your northeast.
There's only been one frost so far. I was able to fend it off with the sprinklers. Then some near record 80's and another 7 days of the growing season. There will be a few more. Or, maybe I should say, there will be few more . . .
Right now, it is 71Â° as darkness falls and I'm sorry to say that this looks like the last time I'll see it that warm, certainly for the next 10 days if I can believe the forecasters. And, since it is now autumn, they are likely to be right that above-normal just won't take us very far from here on out.
Frost on Wednesday morning looks like a possibility - it depends on what the rain forecast for tomorrow amounts to and how soon and how much the sky clears of clouds overnight. Or, it may freeze Thursday morning if the rain and clouds linger thru Wednesday.
A freeze Thursday may be fended off again by Yours Truly since it is a regularly scheduled morning to be running the sprinklers. The problem is - no daytime high over the next 10 days will be above 70Â° and most will be in the 50's and low 60's.
With overnight lows around 40Â° and below - there just won't be enuf warmth for much of anything to grow. Some maturing of the peppers and the greenbean crop is possible, and welcome.
What I'm going to be hoping for now is that the bok choy and fun jen continue to grow. The lettuce set out earlier will probably benefit by slowing down; seed sown in the garden looks to be a little late. The plants are just too tiny. The snow peas are flowering and little pods are beginning to form on some of the vines. I think, we'll begin using some of the tendrils in stir-fry while anticipating those tender pods in a week or so.
Those were about the only "rolls of the dice" that I made . . .
um, I guess I'm to your northwest.
At the end of the season, I hardly know which end is UP.
Hi, I'm new to this forum but have been gardening down here in SW of Denver for many years. For freezing, I take lengths of chicken wire and strengthen it with the wire coat hangers that have been straightened. Kind've like a U shape. I turn it over and I cover the tender plants and then put plastic over the whole shebang. In the morning I pull off the plastic. I use the same technique during the hail season, only I use window screen to cover the chicken wire vs. the plastic. I still have peppers and tomatoes. My green beans are finally flowering. Yikes!!
It's always sad when that first real frost hits :-(
I try to save some of my plants but there's just too much for me to cover. This year I'll probably clean up alot of frost kill quickly and plant onions, more garlic and more some cover crop if it's not too late. Then I'll be moving on to gathering leaves and building a couple compost piles. I've also have started my indoor greens and herbs "garden".
I started on my clean up today. Boy, were there a lot of whiffy tomatoes. I mean, a lot - filled up my lawn cart, which holds 4 bales of hay. And tree trips with tomato vines. I put them all in the compost, and had to go mow some grass to cover it all up...... That was the small garden. I need to weed whack it, then hoe it, then plant garlic and get that watered over the next two weeks, because then they shut off the water.
And I have 6 cords of firewood coming this week, too.
It's supposed to be 34-35 the next 2 nights, with winds between 20 & 40 mph. I'm worried that the blowing plastic will cause more damage than the cold air, if it's above 32.
Our big problem is that most of our tomatoes are still green and hard. Does covering tomatoes with a plastic tent really keep that much warm air inside? I don't know if we have warm enough weather left to ripen them any more, so I'm thinking of just picking them today to ripen inside. Any thoughts?
Thanks to all you more experienced gardeners out there.
I think you're probably right about the plastic getting blown around by the wind. I'm going to pick the rest of my tomatoes after work today. Just noticed yesterday that one plant now seems to have white flies, perhaps because it was weakened by the last frost.
David you mentioned planting garlic - what else can we plant that works well for the fall? I have noticed that some onions that I planed in the spring have come back over the last month.
Tarps, sheets or old blankets are better to use than plastic. They must also be anchored down. I usually use bricks but you could use dirt, rocks etc. to secure them. Usually covering plants can give you 2-3 degrees warmth.
Concerning green tomatoes what I do is a couple weeks back I started removing all the small ones and add them to the compost pile. This gives your larger ones a chance to ripen outside. Larger green tomatoes can be ripened inside.
Sheets would certainly be easier to set up than plastic, and more ecological. I just don't know if we have anything that will fit over our tomato plant named "Godzilla" - it's a Brandywine Black, 5 feet tall, about 6 feet across, and threatening to eat Denver. At the end of July, it was a normal tomato plant, and then during August it mutated into something huge!
Thanks for the tip on focusing the plant's energy on ripening big tomatoes instead of cell division in smaller tomatoes. I will do that next year.
If ya'all on the Front Range* are going to get the winds that we're getting now over here on the West Slope*, your plastic will be headed to Kansas. 40 mph sustained, 70 mph gusts. This is way easier than raking leaves!
I'd pick the big green tomatoes, and put them on newspaper away from direct sunlight, if you had a lot of them, pack them in boxes with newspaper layers, and check on them every week or so.
jeremywildcat, garlic is the only thing I can think of to plant now - Oct - although if you think of it next season, planting spinach in mid-august will allow the tap root to go way down, and you'll have a bumper crop the next spring.
the * above was supposed to reference the peculiar Colorado lingo, referring to the metro area along the east of the Rockies, and the west side of the continental divide.
It has been a windy, dusty day here in SW Colorado, and supposed to drop to 25Âº tonight.