Friday, October 25, 2013

First Frost Advisory!

Welcome back to another fine albeit chilled episode of Lost in the Farmer’s Market. This week the topic has put on hold because of the frost warning. I know this post is going up late but if you are in the Fayetteville area it is said to drop to 33 degrees tonight which is a degree above freezing. The current winds make that temperature liable to feel a bit lower and you the gardener should be prepared for more of this. So in lieu of a full discussion on basil, here’s a bit about emergency protections for your frost sensitive plants.

 Step 1: Harvest anything that is near ready to eat within reason. In the case of the picture above the largest banana peppers were harvested as you can see in the bowl in the lower right of the picture. Any damaged fruit if salvageable should also be harvested to reduce strain on the crop plants to be protected.

 Step 2: Where possible move any plants that you are unsure of their cold hardiness inside or as close to stonework or a building as is possible preferably behind other plants or structures that will protect them. The Meringa tree above has an unknown hardiness so I moved it into the closed porch for protection. plants in small pots always should be brought in during very cold weather for note.

Step 3: Water all plants to remain outside thoroughly  to the point water drips from the bottoms of the pots and the soil is evenly moist to the touch.  The purpose of this is to protect the plants from the real danger of frost, dehydration/dessication.

Step 4: Group plants that cannot be brought indoors or to a more protective location tightly together. By doing so you create a likely area that prevents easy movement of wind and may reduce the formation of frost. I have to note, I moved them together like this before watering, but that's only because the tomato plants up front were tangled together and the rest of the mass came together behind them.

Step 5. By one means or another erect a windbreak. In this case the wind break is a large blue tarp supported by three internal poles and held in place by a log in  the back, and bricks up front. Additionally carabiner clips along the sides between the tarp's grommets keep the sides semi-closed.

Cold weather aside, as you may have heard through this site or the sustainable neighbor’s website, we are coming up on the end of national food week. Tomorrow you can bet that I’ll be down town manning the booth at the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market which is located at 325 Franklin Street on the property of the Fayetteville Transportation museum. I hear that Marsha the leader of Sustainable neighbors has something planned for the market but that might just be an extra special booth or perhaps something for Halloween?
On Sunday between the hours of 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm the sustainable neighbors’ garden tour is ongoing. My test gardens are on the list as the final stop and you can expect a good talk about practices and other information as well as the noted wine tasting.

Below is this week’s plant list for the farmers market.

9x Spineless Prickly Pear

House Plants:
2x Silver Aloe

Salad & Fixings:
(More Black Seeded Simpson next week)

Cole Crops:
6x Georgia Collards
6x Morris Heading Cabbage-Collards
4x Savoy Cabbage
2x Mustard-Spinach ‘Senposai’
3x Dinosaur Kale
5x Napa Cabbage

Available Soon:
2x Blushing Philodendron

The plant list above concludes the fourth post for the month of October. Imagine that October gone so fast and November with all its fall glory rolling up rather rapidly. I hope you all found my emergency frost protection tips useful and next week I’ll post the delayed basil article. As always folks, Keep ‘em growing!

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