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Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Posted by shankins123 7aOKC (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 26, 12 at 17:26

I went ahead and covered them with my frost blanket last night and they're still covered, but that provides only about 8 degrees of protection. They are loaded with mostly 2" tiny beans that I'd really like to get through to harvest-size. Should I cover them further with an old light bedspread? I don't want to crush the plants, but I don't want to lose them either. It's supposed to hit 29 in OKC tonight.

Thanks,
Sharon


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

I have some spare tomato cages you could use to prop up the blankets.

Lisa


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Lisa...my other Village brain...also posted on Facebook, so I've covered my beans using tomato cages and my bedspread...she's fairly awesome!!

Sharon


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

ah, thanks!! Two brains are better than one!


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Yay! Glad y'all worked out a solution. Mine are covered only with a row cover, but our forecast is for 33 or 32 (it keeps changing)) so think they'll be okay. If they aren't okay and their season ends tonight or tomorrow morning, I'll be okay with that. I have harvested beans and cowpeas like a legume-crazed maniac this week and have put up 28 quarts of beans and cowpeas in the freezer the last 2 days. So, if the plants freeze, we'll still have plenty of beans and cowpeas. If they don't freeze tonight through Sunday, then there will be another big round of harvesting about this time next week. Maybe by then my back will have recovered from me spending so much time bent over picking beans yesterday and today.

It is disappointing to have an early freeze or frost threatening our October beans, but the weather has been rude and out-of-sorts all year long, so I am not surprised.

Earlier this week I told myself that as long as I got a good harvest from the peas and beans this week, I wouldn't freak out over the freeze and cover up everything. Well, I covered it up anyway. I looked at all those tiny baby beans and just didn't want to let them die.


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

I covered my bush beans with a frost blanket, but I do worry that was not enough. But if they go, they go, right?

Now my bok choy and brussels sprouts I am worried about!


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

I am glad I cleaned out the summer stuff, we had our first frost last night, I expect all the fall stuff is OK.

Larry


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

We went to 28 degrees and had a heavy frost. A few miles west of us it went to 25 degrees. If we'd gone to 25 here, I think the beans might not have made it, but after enduring "only" 28 degrees under the row cover, they look fine this morning. Tomorrow morning's low temperature around sunrise is supposed to be about the same as today's, or maybe a degree or two colder, but if the beans make it through tomorrow morning's low, I ought to be able to get at least one more big harvest from them.

The uncovered warm-season plants in my garden are pretty much frozen this morning. I might find one here or there that survived because something next to them blocked the cold air and frost, but I don't have high hopes that anything that survived will live much longer anyway.

Larry, All my fall stuff looks fine. I hope yours is fine as well.

I guess next week I'll clean out all the winter squash and pepper beds and other stuff that froze last night.

I just hope our low temperatures stay out of the teens for a while so that the cool-season crops can produce well.

My mind is already busy working on lists of what I'll plant next year, so even as the fall season goes on a bit longer, I'm thinking "Spring" in terms of planning and buying seeds.

Really, I start seeds indoors in winter, so I guess I am thinking "Winter" as much as I am thinking "Spring". In the blink of an eye it will be time here to start cool-season crops for Feb-Mar transplants, and it will be onion and potato planting time before we know it.


Dawn


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Dawn,

Now that you mentioned potato planting time, I would like to ask a question. I saves some small Irish potatoes from spring. I placed them in the closet that I store sweet potatoes in and forgot about them. I had planed to plant them for a fall crop, but did not find them till I was making a place to store my sweet potatoes. The Irish potatoes look good but it is not the right time to plant. Should I just throw them away or go ahead and plant them? I dont think they will last till spring, they already are heavily sprouted.

Larry


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Larry, You have nothing to lose by planting them now. I would try to plant them in a location that stays as dry as possible so they won't rot.

I have potatoes up and growing in my winter garden and I didn't even plant them there. They are in a bed that last grew potatoes in 2010. I must have left a few small potatoes when digging, and somehow they have survived until now and are growing. It is likely the topgrowth froze back to the ground this morning (I forgot to look when I was out there in the garden earlier) but they'll likely begin growing again in late winter or early spring,if not sooner.

If a lot of top growth emerges this fall or winter, just heap up leaves or hay around it to protect it as much as possible from the cold.

Dawn


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

I could see a very small amount of frost damage on some tomato plants today, and the southern peas have been dying a little more each day, but nothing has really been killed by the weather yet. We picked a few beans today and some small summer squash because I thought tonight would probably take the squash out. I cut all of the winter squash a couple of days ago, but those vines still look OK today.

I have a container of leaf lettuce and the ground bed that is covered with plastic, and I'm not trying to save anything else.

Larry, I sent snail-mail to you today.


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

My squash are history. The freeze took the last oomph out of them. It also took out all of my cypress vine and zinnias and a few others. My compost pile is a lot happier today!


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Dawn - I am glad you mentioned spring! I have already begun to plan for what I am going to winter sow and start indoors!

I look out side and I see some of the plants are making it. It makes me hopeful, I am going to step out as soon as it is light out...


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Carol, We went down to 28 degrees on Friday night and stayed there several hours so pretty much all the warm season plants froze. Then, we went down to 28 degrees for an even longer period last night and that probably finished off everything else that wasn't covered. Some of the peppers that weren't covered only partially froze--with freeze damage on the top half of the plant--but I'd already stripped them of any fruit large enough to use anyhow.

The morning glories, zinnias, etc. froze, although the few zinnias underneath the row cover with the purplehull peas made it thru Friday night. I haven't been outside to see if they survived last night but they should have.

Lisa, My 'Seminole' pumpkin plants mostly froze. I'd say about 5% of the leaves survived Friday night because they were at the bottom of the trellis and were protected by foliage growing above them on the trellis. I expect when I go outside today I'll see that the few undamaged leaves froze last night, having lost their protective foliage growing above them. This morning's frost is much, much heavier than yesterday's frost was.

The good news about the squash? Even though I had brought in 16 Seminole pumpkins before the frost and I knew I had left "a few" that weren't breaking color or large enough yet, with all that frozen foliage, I found a few more squash that I didn't even know were there. Just a few. I guess they had been hiding under the foliage. Most were breaking color but 4 or 5 were still solid green. One was entirely buff colored and I don't know why I couldn't find it earlier among those leaves. I harvested 38 Seminole pumpkin winter squash yesterday and took them into the garage. Being as hard-shelled as they are, they shouldn't have suffered significant frost damage on Friday night. I'm not even sure I found all of them because every time I thought I was done, I'd find 3 or 4 more until I just finally stopped looking. I bet I find more when I start yanking out the vines and cleaning up that area this week.

I noticed that the Laura Bush petunias are still blooming for the butterflies and bees, so at least there's those, and while some 4 o'clocks froze, others did not and still are in bloom. I also had let some small hebit plants stay where they sprouted among the already-sprouting and growing larkspurs, poppies and bluebonnets in the veggie garden's flower border. While henbit is mostly an annoying weed, I leave it alone and let it grow in winter for the sake of all the little flying critters who need the flowers to help them survive. I just can't believe the cool-season reseeding annuals sprouted in late September and October this year.

Ezzirah, I blame it all on the fall garden and on the fact that we have not been terribly busy with fires this autumn. With the fall garden growing so well, I can't help wanting to grow more, more, more. With fewer fires so far this autumn, I have the time to think more about gardening.

With lettuce growing four places outside (in the ground in the big garden, in a old wheelbarrow outdoors that I can wheel into the garage on very cold nights, in the cattle trough beside the garage and in two big tubs in the greenhouse), I now am getting ready to sow lettuce seed in tubs that fit on my seed-starting light shelf in the weight room. By the time repeated frosts and very cold temperatures have finished off the lettuce outside, I'll have more ready to harvest from the tubs inside.

After such a long, difficult summer for two summers in a row, I am not going to let the gardening season end without a fight.

I hope my southern peas and green beans are alive and well under the floating row covers. Of course, we still have tonight and tomorrow night when frost is possible and even likely, especially tonight, but I'd like to think that when I finally remove those row covers, something will be alive underneath them.

I'll probably winter sow some perennial seeds in late December after the holidays are over. From this point forward, my gardening will depend on if/when we have a bad winter fire season. Having heavy frost and a hard freeze kill back whatever warm-season vegetation still was green could be a big game-changer, fire-wise, if some rain doesn't start falling.

I also am planning on growing my own large February tomato transplants from seed this year instead of buying them at the stores in Dallas the week they arrive there. If I am going to grow transplants myself here and get them as large as the ones I buy in Dallas in February, I'd better get busy and start those few seeds in November. It's almost November already!

Today's frost here is about as heavy as any frost I can remember seeing so early in the fall when most of the trees still have green leaves. It makes it feel later in autumn than it really is. My average first frost date is still almost three weeks away, but of course, that didn't stop Mother Nature from giving us three frosty nights already.

After I had covered up the one bed of hot pepper plants, and the three large beds of southern peas and bush beans the other day, I was thinking to myself "this is too much work, I just should have let everything freeze". I think I was mostly grumpy because my back hurt after two days of bending over picking beans and peas for hours and hours. Then, after reading on Pam's sweet potato thread last night about all the berms they had built to try to protect their garden from Sandy's storm surge and flooding, I was ashamed of myself for whining about the time spend putting row covers over beds. Compared to all the work they did, I barely did any work at all.

Dawn


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Well, I walked out there today and the pepper plants bit the dust, as was expected. The bok choy and the lettuce is doing great! The only bean plant I lost was the one that the frost blanket didn't cover. The rest are doing great. I was surprised.


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Last night got most of my plants and tonight will probably get the rest. The really odd part was that I have a container of pole beans growing up a tomato cage and they show no damage at all. The eggplant which I am always so careful to protect in Spring, also had no damage. I didn't cover any of it and was ready for it to go. I'm ready to start cleaning the garden on some nice warmer winter day. I am also ready to re-claim my kitchen. It seems like I have had something on my counters for months waiting for processing, or cleaning and eating. Each time I would get it cleared away, it was time to pick something else.

I still have a few things growing under a low tunnel, but it is all small quantities that we can pick and use immediately. It was a crazy gardening, and very frustrating at times, but we still had a lot of production.


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

I'm ready to start harvesting beans now :) I've had a couple to taste and they are SO good! I might have a dozen plants, so I'm not going to get enough to can or anything like that, but just having them fresh or steamed for a few meals is worth it for me.
I've tucked them in on the cold nights and they're as happy and healthy as any I've ever grown, so...Friday I'll pick in earnest (first chance out in any sunlight now, lol)!

Sharon


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Sharon, Congrats! I'm glad to hear you're going to get a harvest despite the early cold weather. I love fall beans. Usually I call them October beans, but this year they are November beans as well.

My fall beans are still going strong after 6 freezing/frosty nights and a few more near-freezing ones that had patchy frost. The fall beans have produced even more heavily than the spring beans, which did really well back in April and May and even partway into June but weren't producing much after July arrived. I am pleased that protecting them on a few cold nights allowed them to keep on keepin' on.

Mine also are as happy and as healthy as any I've ever grown and I assume they've really liked this weather. I think they enjoyed not having to endure any 100 degree days, and only a few in the 90s in October. The cold nights didn't seem to bother them at all except a few suffered some freeze damage on the night we went down to 25 or 26 degrees even though they were covered. It was just the top leaves that had damaged spots, though, and the beans continued producing. The plants are still flowering, so there may be more beans if we can go another week or ten days without a freeze or frost.

It is a good thing we can get a fall bean harvest, because some summers either the heat or the pests partly or completely ruin the bean harvest.

I love having them fresh too, but have been freezing quite a few because no one else in our family wants to eat them at every meal like I do. (Well, not at breakfast....that would be weird.)

With luck, maybe we'll get to keep picking beans for 2 or 3 more weeks.

Dawn


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

I've also started harvesting beans. I almost decided not to bother with covering them up but I'm really glad I did. I also have one pepper still alive. I didn't cover it because I don't really care if it dies, but I guess it wasn't ready to die yet. I haven't actually watered it all year. And it's about to start blooming again. Maybe I've got a new breed of pepper that survives the winter and drought. I'm going to be rich.

Leslie


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Leslie, Let us know how the pepper works out and if it is going to make you rich. I'm happy for you that your fall beans have done so well.

We are at 38 degrees with patchy frost in the garden this morning, and pretty hard frost on car windows, but the garden plants (so far) don't look damaged. I covered the peppers but not the beans because our forecast was for 44 degrees. If I'd felt like we'd go down to 38, I likely would have covered them up. We "shouldn't" have any chance of frost for at least the next 5 days, and I have more beans ready to harvest today, after harvesting oodles of them on both Saturday and Sunday.

Dawn


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Dawn...

NO..eating beans at breakfast is not weird (I have been known to wander out there early and consume a few myself!!)...

Sharon


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RE: Bush Beans and tonight's freeze...

Sharon,

WHEW! What a relief. I am not as weird as I thought I was. :) lol lol lol

Tim never even knows when the first snap beans or snap peas mature because he is not a gardener, and he doesn't know I am eating the first few early ones myself while working in the garden. That's the privilege of being the one who works in the garden every day, right? Same thing with cherry tomatoes. When there is only one "first" ripe one, I gobble it up greedily in the garden. If there's two that are ripe on the same day, I eat one and take one to him.

Today I offered Tim some fresh cherry tomatoes to slice and put on the sandwich he was making to take to work. He turned them down. Thought little tomatoes on a sandwich would be too messy. OK, good, fine....that's more for me! I love my husband, but if he turns down fresh, cherry tomatoes in November, I'm not going to beg him to eat them. I'll eat them myself. Soon enough the day will come that there won't be any fresh tomatoes of any size, shape and color and I'll sure miss them, probably miss them more than he will.

Dawn


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