Freeze warnings tonight – and right on schedule.
Its hard to know what to expect for my gardens. Boston is predicted to go down to 36*F, Worcester to 29*. Everywhere in between depends on your microclimate. My home garden is a few miles from Boston and is very protected between tall houses and trees. It tends to be warm and I don’t think it will frost. Even so, I picked my green tomatoes and the beans I had ripening for next year’s seed.
But my community plot is a mile away, far from any buildings and it runs a lot cooler than my yard. I think it will frost or freeze there. So, I picked and brought home about half of my chiles and all of my Butternut squashes. I used row cover to cover my pea and the other half of the chile plants with row cover. Then I spread salt marsh hay on most other crops. I have a lot of lettuce, beets, broccoli, carrots, cabbages (etc) still growing. These are all pretty cold hardy and I don’t expect to loose them, but I like to give the delicate lettuce some hay cover. I will leave the row cover and hay on the plants for the rest of the year now. A funny thing is that temps in the 70’s (*F) are predicted next week. New England weather is crazy!
I walked around the community gardens to see how other gardeners have protected their plants. I saw one gardener leaving with a big last minute harvest of peppers and squashes. Several other gardens have hay, row covers, low tunnels and even one high plastic structure.
I remember how my parents used to go out on fall evenings like this and cover the tomatoes and squashes with sheets. These worked great, but since they weren’t transparent, they needed to be put un in the evening and removed in the morning – they couldn’t be left on.