Saturday, October 29, 2011

Garden Journal 10/29/11: Twenty-Five Degrees this Morning

Frosty kale in the kitchen garden on a 25 degree morning -
Cold kale in the kitchen garden

Realization of the Day:
Sometimes it's better to wait until the sun hits the garden before venturing out to see how your plants survived the cold.

Last week it dropped down to 24 degrees, and this morning it was 25. Everything was icy, but it's amazing how quickly the cold hardy plants recover as soon as they defrost in the sun. A few hours after snapping this photo, you couldn't even tell the kale had been totally frozen.

Our official frost date here in Missouri is October 15th, but this year we had our first light frost nearly two weeks before that. Since we're located down in a little valley, we often have earlier fall frosts and later spring frosts than predicted. On clear nights, it also gets colder down here than 'up top' during the fall and winter, which means if the forecast says low 30s, we figure on low 20s. Now if only that were true in summer, too.

The weather has gone up and down this month, and we've had everything from sunny days in the 80s and rainy nights in the 50s to days in the 50s and plenty more frost. In other words, it's been a typical October.

Despite a dry September, the autumn color has been beautiful around the farm this year, thanks, in part, to an unusually wet August; you can see some of it here.

Summer is definitely over, but there's still a fair amount going on in the garden:

More below. . .